Subject: Can you identify this butterfly?
Location: North Alabama
August 29, 2013 10:11 pm
My seven-year-old daughter found this butterfly near our North Alabama home in early August. We’ve tried to identify it without success. We wish we had a picture of the wings folded, but the picture of open wings shows a lot of detail. Thanks for your help!
Signature: Curious Mom & Daughter
Dear Curious Mom & Daughter,
This beautiful butterfly is a Red Spotted Purple, and that is a very easy identification for our staff, but we are really curious about its missing head. What decapitated the Red Spotted Purple and why? is what we are wondering. When we identify decapitated Longicorn heads, we can hypothesize that some predator ate the nutritious body and left the head, but we can’t come up with a reason why a predator would eat only the head of the butterfly and leave the rest of the body. Perhaps one of our readers can help solve this mystery.