Red Spotted Purple Butterfly Meaning: Exploring Symbolism and Significance

The red-spotted purple butterfly, scientifically known as Limenitis arthemis astyanax, is a breathtaking forest butterfly often spotted in wooded suburban areas as well. Their striking appearance, featuring iridescent blue-green hues on the upper side of their wings, is more than just a pretty sight; it plays an essential role in their survival.

One fascinating aspect of this butterfly is its remarkable adaptation as a Batesian mimic of the poisonous pipe vine swallowtail. This clever form of mimicry serves to protect the red-spotted purple from predators, as they are often mistaken for the toxic species. The symbolic meaning of this beautiful butterfly can be interpreted in various ways, such as transformation, resilience, and adaptability due to its remarkable survival strategy and vibrant colors.

Red Spotted Purple Butterfly: An Overview

Limenitis Arthemis

The Red-spotted Purple Butterfly, scientifically known as Limenitis arthemis astyanax, belongs to the Nymphalidae family. This beautiful forest butterfly is often seen in wooded suburban areas and is considered a mimic of the poisonous Pipevine Swallowtail.

Identification and Description

  • Upperside: Blue to blue-green with iridescence on the outer part of the hindwing
  • Underside: Dark brown, with red-orange bars and spots near the base of the wings

Some key features of the Red-spotted Purple Butterfly include:

  • 2 red-orange bars on the forewing
  • 3 red-orange spots on the hindwing
  • Wingspan between 2¼ to 4 inches

Distribution and Habitat

Red-spotted Purple Butterflies are commonly found in:

  • Eastern United States
  • Southwest regions
  • Woodlands and suburban areas

Their habitat typically consists of woodlands and trees, providing them with a suitable environment for breeding and feeding. They can be seen more frequently in areas with a good mix of flowering plants and host plants for caterpillars, such as cherry and willow trees.

Symbolism and Meanings

Spiritual Significance

The Red-spotted Purple butterfly carries a strong spiritual meaning, symbolizing transformation and renewal. It is often associated with the metamorphosis of the soul, highlighting the journey towards personal growth and enlightenment. Its vivid colors and graceful flight can inspire faith, trust, and hope in the face of life’s challenges.

  • Symbol of transformation
  • Spiritual growth and enlightenment
  • Inspiring faith, trust, and hope

Cultural Interpretations

In various cultures, the Red-spotted Purple butterfly has been associated with different meanings and symbolism. For example, in ancient Greek mythology, butterflies were considered to be a symbol of the soul and its journey after death. In other cultures, the butterfly represents beauty, fortune, and freedom, as well as attributes like wisdom and creativity.

  • Ancient Greek: soul’s journey after death
  • Beauty, fortune, and freedom
  • Wisdom and creativity

Personal Connections

Connecting with the Red-spotted Purple butterfly on a personal level can symbolize new beginnings, rebirth, and metamorphosis. As an emblem of change, encountering this butterfly might inspire you to embrace a new chapter in your life or to let go of any negative or limiting beliefs. Additionally, it is often seen as a sign of good luck, divine intervention, and powerful spiritual transformation.

  • New beginnings, rebirth, and metamorphosis
  • Good luck, divine connection, and powerful spiritual transformation

Life Cycle and Behavior

Caterpillars and Host Plants

The caterpillars of Red-spotted Purple butterflies are masters of mimicry, resembling bird droppings to avoid predators. They mainly feed on leaves of host plants such as willows, cottonwood, and other trees found in wooded areas. Examples of common host plants include:

  • Black willow
  • Eastern cottonwood
  • Poplar

Caterpillars undergo several instars, or developmental stages, before transforming into a pupa.

Pupa and Metamorphosis

Red-spotted Purple caterpillars form a green cocoon-like structure called a pupa. During this stage, they undergo metamorphosis, developing their vibrant colors and unique features as adult butterflies. Pupation occurs over a period of about two weeks.

Adult Butterflies

Adult Red-spotted Purple butterflies, part of the Nymphalidae family, are also known as Brush-footed butterflies. With their striking coloration, they mimic the appearance of other butterflies like the Pipevine Swallowtail, which is distasteful to predators. These butterflies engage in various activities such as:

  • Nectar-feeding from flowers
  • Consuming rotting fruit
  • Basking in the sun

The lifecycle of a Red-spotted Purple butterfly symbolizes patience, perseverance, and transformation. Their vibrant presence in nature holds significant cultural associations:

  • Chinese culture: Immortality
  • Japanese culture: Purity and innocence

In a comparison between Red-spotted Purple and Monarch butterflies, key differences are:

Feature Red-spotted Purple Monarch Butterfly
Adult wing color Blue, red, and black Orange and black
Mimicry of other species Pipevine Swallowtail None
Host plants Willows, cottonwood Milkweed

This section has provided a brief overview of the life cycle and behavior of Red-spotted Purple butterflies, discussing caterpillars, pupation, and adult butterflies. They impress with their adaptability, striking features, and significance in various cultures.

Red Spotted Purple Butterfly in Art and Culture

Eastern and Western Traditions

In Eastern traditions, butterflies symbolize change and metamorphosis. For example, in Japan, they represent the soul and transformation. The red-spotted purple butterfly exemplifies this symbolism with its striking colors and patterns.

In Western traditions, butterflies convey hope and resurrection. The red-spotted purple butterfly, with its magnificent appearance, inspires creativity and art.

Symbolism in Modern Media

The red-spotted purple butterfly has also found its way into modern media:

  • Elli: An artist who incorporates the red-spotted purple in her work, reflecting its beauty and mystique.
  • Chang’e: A popular mythology, featuring a red-spotted purple butterfly symbolizing the connection between Earth and the universe.
  • Mystery: The red-spotted purple butterfly’s bold colors and patterns represent a sense of mystery and intrigue in various artistic expressions.
Entity Eastern Western
Art Soul and transformation Hope and resurrection
Inspire Metamorphosis Creativity
Size Delicate creature Bold patterns
  • Features of red-spotted purple butterfly in art:

    • Vibrant colors
    • Intricate patterns
    • Symbol of transformation
  • Characteristics symbolized by red-spotted purple butterfly:

    • Mystery
    • Creativity
    • Connection to the universe

Pros of using red-spotted purple butterfly in art:

  • Inspires imagination
  • Represents positive change
  • Eye-catching design

Cons of using red-spotted purple butterfly in art:

  • May not be universally recognized
  • Can blend in with other butterfly symbols

Similar Species and Variations

White Admiral

The White Admiral butterfly is a related species to the red-spotted purple. It has a unique feature:

  • A broad white band running across the middle of its wings

Red-spotted Admiral

The Red-spotted Admiral is another variation of the red-spotted purple. They share similarities in appearance.

  • Both belong to the same species
  • Have similar wing shapes and patterns

Hybridization

Hybridization occurs between the red-spotted purple and closely-related species. For instance, it interbreeds with the Viceroy butterfly. This leads to:

  • Possible variations in color patterns
  • Interesting wing patterns in offspring

Here’s a comparison table of the discussed species/variations:

Name White Band Main Colors Relation to Red-spotted Purple
Red-spotted Purple No Blue and Red Same species
White Admiral Yes Black and White Related species
Red-spotted Admiral No Blue and Red Variation of Red-spotted Purple
Hybrid Depends on offspring Varies Result of interbreeding

By understanding these different species and variations, you can appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of each butterfly even more.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – another Red Spotted Purple Caterpillar or Viceroy, Who Knows???

 

Red-Spotted Purple Caterpillar?
I thoroughly enjoyed going through all 5 caterpillar pages. What an education! I thought maybe I’d found a rare caterpillar because I didn’t see anything resembling it until the last page. Whatever it is, it is one strange looking critter! Is my ID right? What does it turn into? This was in some sort of willow, I think, growing at the water’s edge on the dam of our pond in Powhatan, VA.
Thanks,
Linda

Hi Linda,
We admire your tenacity, looking through all five of our Caterpillar pages. Your identification is correct. This is a Red Spotted Purple Caterpillar. We have photos of the adult butterflies on our two butterfly pages.

Viceroy vs. Red-Spotted Purple
My extension agent said the caterpillar that I submitted (image included) is a Viceroy. I googled for Viceroy and I see that they are similar to the Purple. How do you tell the difference?
Thanks,
Linda

Hi Linda,
We don’t believe we can distinguish for certain between the two. We will see if Thomas from Madison has an opinion.

The Limenitis caterpillar problem (05/21/2006)
Dear Daniel and Lisa Anne,
Regarding your question about the published Limenitis caterpillar (Red Spotted Purple versus Viceroy) from May 12, I tend to think that it is a Viceroy, because of its long horns. However, the caterpillar of the Viceroy is extremely similar in shape to a subspecies of the Red Spotted Purple, namely Limenitis arthemis arizonensis. The fact that Viceroy caterpillars vary in their colour makes it very hard to distinguish these two from each other. (See the link below). I have been breeding butterflies and moths for 25 years now, but most of them are European species, and unfortunately I haven’t had Viceroy caterpillars or L.a. arizonensis in my hands yet. So I can’t tell for sure, what the exact species is on the photograph. The best thing to do in this case would be to breed the caterpillar until the butterfly hatches. http://www.mariposasmexicanas.com/limenitis_arthemis_arizonensis.htm
Best regards,
Thomas
Madison/Wisconsin

Helpful Comment
Viceroy vs Red-spotted Purple caterpillars
July 3, 2010
Photos partly down this page shows the difference between the two caterpillars. http://www.butterflyfunfacts.com/butterflysimilarities.php
Viceroy caterpillars have more spikes on their humps on their backs. Red Spotted-purple caterpillar have very minimal humps on their backs.
Love your site!
Edith Smith

Letter 2 – Bug of the Month August 2018: Red Spotted Purples

 

Subject:  Red spotted purple butterflies
Geographic location of the bug:  Shohola Lake, PA
Date: 07/30/2018
Time: 03:48 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  These butterflies were alighting on one spot of gravel road by Shohola Lake.  It looks to be coyote scat (hair & bone fragments, pawprints seen in mud nearby).
They allowed me to approach slowly and I was lucky to get these shots.  They are truly gorgeous.
How you want your letter signed:  Paula K

Red Spotted Purple

Dear Paula,
Thanks so much for sending in your wonderful images of Red Spotted Purples “puddling” on coyote scat.  We have decided to make your submission our Bug of the Month for August 2018.  Though butterflies are generally thought of as pollinators that visit flowers, they will often visit more unsavory substances, including puddles of urine, scat, putrefying flesh, rotting fruit and mud puddles to ingest salts and minerals found there.

Red Spotted Purples

Dear Daniel,
I’m honored to have my photos chosen as Bug of the Month!  And now I know about “puddling.”
Some years back I send you photos of mating buck moths from Shohola Lake, PA.  It seems a great place to find interesting insects. And as I wrote back then, your site is a natural treasure!

Thanks for your kind words Paula.  We located your image of mating Buck Moths in our archives.  It is hard to believe that was 11 years ago and we are still going strong.

Letter 3 – Countdown Seven more postings until 20,000: Red Spotted Purple Chrysalis

 

Subject: Cocooned????
Location: Columbus, GA
March 27, 2015 7:11 pm
Saw this on my porch railing. Pretty sure that it’s a moth or a butterfly. Don’t even know if that’s right. Will continue to watch to see if I can capture it’s release. I took video but couldn’t load that so I’m doing pics.
Signature: Jami S

Red Spotted Purple Chrysalis
Red Spotted Purple Chrysalis

Dear Jami,
This is a very exciting posting for us.  We recognized your Chrysalis (proper term for the pupa of a butterfly) as a member of the Brush Footed Butterfly family Nymphalidae, but we did not recognize the species.  We quickly located what appeared to be a match to a Red Spotted Purple chrysalis on BugGuide, but since the angle of view is different, we could not be certain.  We found a similar camera angle on Nature Search, so we are now quite confident that we have properly identified the species as
Limenitis arthemis astyanax.  Adult Red Spotted Purples are well represented on our site, but we do not have any images of chrysalides.  We especially love that your two images document the mobility of the chrysalis, which is generally thought of as an immobile stage of metamorphosis.  We hope you are able to document the eclosion of this beautiful butterfly and can send us additional images in the near future.

Red Spotted Purple Chrysalis
Red Spotted Purple Chrysalis

This is so cool. Thanks so much.

Letter 4 – Is the Red Spotted Purple the most beautiful butterfly in America??? Tip to searching What’s That Bug?

 

You Decide
Subject: Butterfly ID
Location: Maryland
July 2, 2012 12:29 pm
Hi: I hope someone there knows the species of this lovely butterfly. (Sorry I was not able to get a decent open-wing shot.) Thanks for your help.
Signature: Barbara Thurlow

Red Spotted Purple

Dear Barbara,
We are ready to go public that we here at What’s That Bug? believe that the Red Spotted Purple is the most beautiful butterfly in America.  Your photograph is lovely and you have no reason to apologize for presenting it publicly on our forum. 

The Best Way to Search What’s That Bug?
Use our search engine and type in a few key words.  Knowing the name of your bug brings up the best results.

Letter 5 – Limenitis Caterpillar: Admiral, Viceroy or Red Spotted Purple???

 

Subject: Leaf-eating mutant?
Location: Knox County, near Oak Ridge, TN
August 28, 2012 9:53 pm
A colleague and friend has watched this creature destroy a small tree for the last few days. Her home is in north Knox County in East Tennessee, near the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). I’ve exhausted my attempts to identify this tiny monster. Please help?
Signature: EconProfLikesBugs

Caterpillar of Viceroy or Admiral???

Dear EconProfLikesBugs,
This caterpillar will metamorphose into a beautiful butterfly in the genus
Limenitis, but we are uncertain of the species.  According to BugGuide:  “Caterpillars and pupae are very distinctive, and not easily confused with anything else in North America. They are roughened by many small tubercles and a few pairs of large bumps and “horns”; they also have a more obvious pair of long studded horns, almost looking like “antlers” just back of the head. They tend to hold their bodies so as to look hunch-backed at the thorax, and they are colored to resemble bird droppings in shades of dark dull brown or green with white to cream colored patches. Some Swallowtail Caterpillars are similar in shape and coloring, but don’t have the studded appendages of Limenitis caterpillars.  Telling the caterpillars of the various species of Limenitis from one another is very difficult. Typically only two (occasionally three) species are found in any given area, and this helps, especially since one is usually the Viceroy. Viceroy caterpillars tend to be found, almost always, on Willows or Cottonwoods near water. They average more spiny at each stage of development (except the first instar, which isn’t very spiny in any of the species). They also have the pair of humps near the front of the abdomen smaller with more noticeable spines on top. Generally the long pair of spines behind the head is relatively light in color in Viceroy caterpillars, but more often much darker in other species. There are often color differences between species, but they vary from region to region. So, for instance, Viceroy caterpillars in the West have much less white coloring than other species, but in the Southeast they actually tend to have more. The remaining species and subspecies of Limenitis have caterpillars that are extremely similar, and there may be no reliable way to tell them apart. Luckily, they mostly occur in separate regions.”  Our best guesses are that it might become a Viceroy, the mimic of the Monarch, or it might metamorphose into a Red Spotted Purple, which we consider to be the most beautiful butterfly in North America.

Possibly Red Spotted Purple Caterpillar

Letter 6 – Red Spotted Purple

 

What Butterfly?
I think Red Spotted Purple, but the spots are orange. Thanks for any help,
Don Nelson
New Site, Alabama

Hi Don,
You are absolutely correct. I guess with common names, the difference between red and orange is relative. Thanks for adding your image of the underside of this gorgeous butterfly to our archive.

Letter 7 – Red Spotted Purple

 

Butterfly
This butterfly posed nicely for this picture last July around Jordan lake in NC. Any idea what the common name is? I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your site all afternoon today!
John Snyder

Hi John,
Glad you enjoyed our site. This is a Red Spotted Purple color variation of the Red Spotted Admiral, Limenitis arthemis. The other color variation is known as the White Admiral and has white bands across the wings. There are numerous red spots on the under sides of the wings. They are usually found in moist woodlands. Food for the caterpillars include cherry and poplar.

Letter 8 – Red Spotted Purple

 

Extreme close up
Dear Bug Man,
I am sending two Butterfly pictures for you. One was a blessing on a really sad day, I was looking out a window into the branches of a blooming Mimosa tree, here in metro Atlanta, and in flew a very trusting beauty and when I held my hand out my new friend walked right on. We played together for a while and I even was able to rub my friends back. (I was very careful not to touch the wings.) It laid flat and rested on my palm for five minutes then I put it out the window, it flew back in and landed on me. I held my hand up and it climbed on and I again put it out the window. I had to blow a puff of air on this wonderful creature, so it would fly back into the tree. Next is this acrobatic Monarch, We have butterfly bushes in our yard and I keep my camera close because these beauties are always visiting. I take hundreds of pictures of them, but these were cool because of the view of their bodies. Thanks for allowing me to share,
Robin
Snellville, GA

Hi Robin,
We really enjoyed your image of a trusting Red Spotted Purple, but your other butterfly is a Tiger Swallowtail, not a Monarch.

Letter 9 – Red Spotted Purple

 

Butterfly? Moth?
Tue, Dec 16, 2008 at 2:33 PM
Hey Dan !
Merry Christmas.
Back in August this creature was fluttering around, landing on
leafs, seemingly looking for a place to deposit eggs ?
Appeared more iridescent than show in the photo. Are you familiar with it?
Thanks,
Ferd Hall
Lawrencevill,GA
(Just north of Atlanta)

Red Spotted Purple
Red Spotted Purple

Hi Ferd,
Your butterfly is a Red Spotted Purple, Limenitis arthemis.  There are several subspecies of this lovely butterfly, including the White Admiral.

Letter 10 – Red Spotted Purple

 

Pics to Share
August 20, 2009
Hi there! I am a nature enthusiast and have been photographing wild flowers and insects all spring & summer here in Charlotte, NC. I just wanted to share some of the photos I have with you to use if you would like. I have identified them all but perhaps incorrectly so please correct me if necessary! Love your website!
Kari
Charlotte, NC, USA

Red Spotted Purple
Red Spotted Purple

Hi Kari,
We only chose our favorite image of the 10 files you attached on your four emails, the Red Spotted Purple, to post to our website.

Letter 11 – Red Spotted Purple

 

Is this a Red-spotted Purple
May 23, 2010
Love your site and I visit it often!
My daughter found this beauty feeding on this flowering bush around 6:30pm in our backyard, on a warm evening in late May. We live in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio and back up to an open field. We recently planted several willow trees and was wondering is that their host plant? It was almost completely black on both sides of the wings, except for the bright iridescent blue patches in the dorsal wings. Or is it a Pipevine or Spicebush Swallowtail? Know your busy, but would love to know, thanks!
OU110
New Albany, Ohio

Red Spotted Purple

Dear OU110,
You are correct that this is a Red Spotted Purple, and it is a beautiful specimen.  According to BugGuide, the caterpillars feed on:  “A variety of deciduous trees: willows and poplars (Willow family), cherries, apples and pears (Rose family), birches (Birch family), oaks and beeches (Beech family), Basswood (Linden family) and others. Also recorded from currant and blueberry bushes
“.  In our opinion, willow is one of the preferred host trees, so your recent landscaping may have positively contributed to this sighting.

Letter 12 – Red Spotted Purple

 

Swallowtail?
Location:  Cincinnati, OH
August 29, 2010 5:55 pm
Hello!
My daughter Gwen and I have been trying to identify this beautiful butterfly we found in a friend’s yard. We thought it might be a Spicebush Swallowtail, but they look a little different on your site. This one had the washed-out blue on the bottom and a coppery colored wash on the top. I snapped the pic with my iphone, and wish i could have gotten a better one before it flew off. What do you guys think?
Thanks for your help 🙂
the Franke family again

Red Spotted Purple

Dear Franke family,
We are impressed that you noticed the similarities between your Red Spotted Purple and the Pipevine Swallowtail because it is believed the Red Spotted Purple mimics the Pipevine Swallowtail because the swallowtail does not taste good to predators.

Letter 13 – Red Spotted Purple

 

Butterfly ID, please
Location:  Alleghany county NC
September 3, 2010 12:57 pm
Greetings! I took this picture the end of August 2010 near a river in a wild, wooded, mountainous section of Alleghany county NC. I can’t seem to find another image like it and wondered what it was. Love your site, take care.
Signature:  Linda

Red Spotted Purple

Hi Linda,
Your beautiful butterfly is a Red Spotted Purple.

Letter 14 – Red Spotted Purple

 

Blue and brown butterfly
Location:  Amana, Iowa
September 7, 2010 4:11 pm
Please let us know what this butterfly is called. I took the photo 9/5/2010 in Amana, Iowa. It was eating squashed and rotting pears on the sidewalk.
I didn’t see anything just like it in your search feature,
Thank you!
Signature:  Diane

Red Spotted Purple

Hi Diane,
Perhaps you did not connect your Red Spotted Purple to the numerous individuals in our archives because your specimen is showing its age.  The vibrant colors of a freshly metamorphosed specimen cannot compare to the faded beauty that your example illustrates.

Thanks for the reply–and so quickly, too!
We did see the Red Spotted Purple, but dismissed it.  Didn’t realize that butterflies fade, but it does make sense!
Diane

Letter 15 – Red Spotted Purple

 

A Swallowtail Butterfly ?
Location: Michigan, Kalamazoo Area (Southwestern Corner)
July 19, 2011 10:11 pm
I’ve never seen one of these before. i first thought it was a Spicebush; but after looking through all your photos, now i’m thinking it is a Pipevine. Can you tell me? Also … why doesn’t it’s tail have long points on it ? it doesn’t look to be damaged. Photo was just taken 18 Jul 2011.
I love your site. Thank you for being here for those of us interested in ’bugs’
Signature: Donna

Red Spotted Purple

Hi Donna,
The Red Spotted Purple, which many people consider the loveliest North American Butterfly, is not a true swallowtail, however it is speculated that it is a mimic of the Pipevine Swallowtail.

Red Spotted Purple

Thank You !
i feel honored to have had a visit from this beauty … twice!
the color was so vibrant and markings so striking
i truly enjoy your site !
Donna

Letter 16 – Red Spotted Purple

 

Photograph
Location: United States, New Jersey, Bergen County, Dumont
August 4, 2011 9:32 pm
Terrific site!
Saw this today in my garden, and thought I’d share.
Signature: Best regards, kmamom

Red Spotted Purple

Dear kmamom,
Many people believe the Red Spotted Purple is one of the most beautiful North American butterflies.

Letter 17 – Red Spotted Purple

 

Red Spotted Purple Butterfly
Location: NC
September 27, 2011 10:47 pm
My daughter found the caterpillar of this lovely butterfly. I was surprised what a beautiful butterfly emerged out of the chrysalis.
Signature: Jeanette

Red Spotted Purple

Hi Jeanette,
Many people believe the Red Spotted Purple is the most beautiful North American butterfly, and we will not argue with them.  We are not certain we have ever chosen our favorite, but the Red Spotted Purple would surely be a contender.  We hope this individual was eventually released because the insect habitat is no place for adult butterflies that should be flying free.

Oh yes, it was released quickly!  We usually keep our moths and butterflies for only one or two days to observe and then let them go.  The Red Spotted Purple defiantly has my vote for the most beautiful!

Letter 18 – Red Spotted Purple

 

Subject: Butterfly
Location: Ann Arbor,Mi
July 9, 2012 7:22 pm
So Bugman can u help me on this one is it the red spotted purple or the dianafritillary? not sure cant locate it in the book i own. she landed next to my pool that day it was a 104 degrees she was thirsty im sure thank u bugwhisperer
Signature: Bugwhisperer

Red Spotted Purple

Dear Bugwhisperer,
We need to start our response with a confession.  With so many unopened emails, from our holiday, from the Independence Day holiday and just things that we don’t have time to answer, we need to find some way to prioritize the mountain of mail we have.  A catchy subject line always gets our attention just like butterflies and large moths are the eye candy of the insect world.  If the word “Butterfly” is in the subject line, we open it.  We have already gone on record that the editorial staff of What’s That Bug? believes that the Red Spotted Purple is the most beautiful North American butterfly.  Your photo is lovely.  The female Diana Fritillary is a more subtle version of the Red Spotted Purple in her coloration.
Gardening Tip to attract butterflies:  Devote a small plot on your land to cultivating native plants that have nectar producing flowers or leaves that will supply local caterpillars with food.  Read about our Mt Washington Butterfly Garden.

Letter 19 – Red Spotted Purple

 

Subject: Limenitis arthemis astyanax showing both upper and lower wing colors
Location: Sandwich, MA
July 27, 2012 9:00 am
Hi Bugman,
I looked through your butterfly files and didn’t see a photo showing both the upper and lower wing colors of this beautiful butterfly. I took this one yesterday and a ’bug friend’ identified it for me.
I hope you can use the photo. It’s not the best photo but I think it will help readers with identification.
Roberta
Signature: Hikingmom

Red Spotted Purple

Hi Roberta,
Thank you for sending us your photo.  It is quite a feat getting a photograph that shows both the upper and lower wing patterns of a butterfly.  We do have several postings in our archives where the lucky photographer was fortunate enough to get photos of the Red Spotted Purple showing both the open winged and folded winged positions.

Authors

    by
  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

    View all posts
  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

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1 thought on “Red Spotted Purple Butterfly Meaning: Exploring Symbolism and Significance”

  1. I found one of these eating one of the trees in my backyard i’ve never seen it before and to its one of the coolest species around here i truly hope it turns into a red spotted purple butterfly because i’ve never seen one

    Reply

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