Question Mark Butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis)
Location: Naperville, IL
September 25, 2011 11:07 pm
Hi Daniel~
I think this is a winter form question mark butterfly (as opposed to a summer form). I read that they rarely take nectar, but this one couldn’t seem to get enough of this pink delight buddleia. It flew from flower to flower and hung around for nearly 30 minutes while I snapped away.
All the best,
Signature: Dori Eldridge


Hi Dori,
Your photos are really quite lovely.  The closed wing view nicely showcases the silvery questionmark on the hind wings.  We agree that this is the fall or winter color form of an individual that will most likely pass the winter in hibernation.  According to BugGuide:  “Adult: underside of hindwing has unique silver “question mark” shape. Upper forewing has extra black dash not in the similar Eastern Comma. (2) Upper hindwing of summer form is mostly black with short tails; winter form is orange/black with longer violet tipped tails. (1) Wing are very angular in outline.”  Here is a photo from
BugGuideof the darker summer form for comparison.

Questionmark: Winter Form

Location: Illinois

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