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I believe this to be a Question Mark Butterfly based on the 2 small white markings on the underside of the wings. Seen in Bronte Creek Provincial Park, Oakville, Ontario.

(Polygonia interrogationis)

This QM was the size of a Comma - but had the diagnostic question mark on its wings below. Black is their summer form - and they have that beautiful lavender trim.


at the wetlands, North Georgia


Resting in the cedars


Ellicott City, Maryland


Winged creatures will come

If I don't rake the apples

After they've fallen

Good morning everyone and I hope you had a nice weekend. Although butterfly season has been all but officially over here for a while I'll still be posting late season butterfly pics for the foreseeable future. So please bear with it until I delete my files. With that said, for today is two quick pics of another Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis), more specifically a "winter form" individual, which is typical for October.


This past year, particularly late in the season, I saw more "angle-wing" butterflies as they are sometimes called, than I have in years. Being Question Marks and Eastern Commas, of which I also posted a pic of five (5) individuals feeding together on the same tree. Or at least trying to. An unusual sight for me to come across.


It along with the second pic of the above Question Mark can be found in the comment section and my stream.


Thank you for stopping by...and I hope you have a truly great day and week.




ISO1600, aperture f/8, exposure .004 seconds (1/250) focal length 300mm


I think that here in the UK we don't get the question mark butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis), so no potential punctuation mix-ups for us!

Though this guy gave me as many shots as I wanted with its wings completely folded up, the only time it allowed me to see its rich orange colouring was in flight. This glimpse was all I managed to capture.

Equipped with its own punctuation mark on the lower wing.


Montgomery County, Maryland

Spent several hours at the gardens and was on my way out when I spotted this lovely Question Mark butterfly basking in the evening sunlight. The summer form seem to have more vivid coloring on the undersides.

Bottom is Comma

On the top is Question Mark

See the difference?

Yesterday, September ended with exquisite pre-autumn weather, with early morning temps in the 50*s and reaching the low 70*s late in the day under sunny cloudless skies...the perfect day to hike the vast Upper Delta! I was happy to find three Question Mark caterpillars along with other cool things on my day long excursion...

For this ‘new month’ greeting, I chose the autumn-colored Question Mark Butterfly ... Happy October everyone!

(Behind on my comments again, hope to 'get there' soon :-)


About Eastern Comma & Question Mark Butterflies

Members of the brush-footed family, the Eastern Comma and Question Mark are also known as anglewings because of their angular wing shape. When their wings are closed they are camouflaged to look like dried leaves and remain well-hidden. Adults hibernate over winter, some staying in the north, many migrating to the south, making them long-lived for a butterfly; they top off at about eight months. Because their blood contains a sort of butterfly “anti-freeze,” glycerol, these butterflies can withstand very cold weather.


They get their name from a silver mark located on the underside of their hindwing. The Question Mark butterfly has a mark that looks like a question mark turned on its side, while the Eastern Comma has a sideways comma. Since I did not see the hindwings, I’m basing my ID on the number of spots on the front wings. When viewed from the top, the Eastern Comma Butterfly has three dark spots in a row on each of its front wings and the Question Mark butterfly has four, like this one.


When open, the edge of the Question Mark butterfly’s wings is outlined in a beautiful lavender color. The upperside hindwing of summer form which flies from May to September is mostly black with a short tail; that of winter form, adults which appear in late August from eggs laid by the summer form, has much orange and a longer, violet-tipped tail.


Question Mark Caterpillar (Polygonia interrogationis). Little Falls Creek, Baltimore County, Maryland.

As I headed home yesterday after a day long hike, I decided to stop by the plum trees in hopes a butterfly might have joined the Eight-spotted Forester wish came true as this beauty briefly touched down high in one tree...and my day was complete!


Question Marks often migrate south to hibernate over the winter and emerge when spring draws near!

Polygonia interrogationis

I have a question

What's the difference between

This and the Comma?

Question Mark Butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis)



The colors reminded me of the Creamsicle ice cream bars...


This butterfly was on an old building with thick, cracked paint, it just looked like a painting to me, kind of arty. :)

(I can't remember what kind of butterfly it is anymore, if someone knows, please let me know if you would)


Taken from about 20 feet away.


Question Mark Butterfly


Scientific Name: Polygonia interrogationis (Fabricius)


I recently purchased an orange bird feeder to attract Baltimore Orioles. Well, today a Question Mark butterfly was out in the rain enjoying an orange. At least something is using the feeder.

Another underwing shot of a very differently coloured, freshly emerged summer form of Question Mark butterfly. This is the largest of the Polygonia (Comma) species from North America, multi-brooded with the larvae feeding on Nettle, Hop and Elm. Adults hibernate.


Species in the genus Polygonia are referred to collectively as the anglewings. The genus name, Polygonia, is derived from the Greek word for "many angles" and refers to the outlines of the wings. The question mark, Polygonia interrogationis (Fabricius), is a common, medium-sized butterfly of wooded areas and suburbs that is often, but not always, associated with moist areas. With its wings folded, it resembles a dead leaf and is highly cryptic.


Thanks for your visit… Any comment you make on my photograph is greatly appreciated and encouraging! But please do not use this image without permission.

To tell you the truth

I don't know what's so special

About that apple

A freshly emerged summer form of Question Mark butterfly. This is the largest of the Polygonia (Comma) species from North America, multi-brooded with the larvae feeding on Nettle, Hop and Elm. Adults hibernate.


Thanks for your visit… Any comment you make on my photograph is greatly appreciated and encouraging! But please do not use this image without permission.

The Question Mark is a North American nymphalid butterfly. They live in wooded areas and city parks, or generalQuestion Mark Butterfly (Polygonia Interrogationis) on Buddleialy in areas which feature trees and free spaces. The way their wings appear textured and coloured aids in camouflage by resembling a dead leaf. The adult butterfly has a wingspan of 4.5–7.6 cm (1.8–3.0 in). Its flight period is from May to September. The silver mark on the underside of the hindwing is broken into two parts, a curved line and a dot, creating a ?-shaped mark that gives the species its common name."


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Easy to identify this butterfly with that big white question mark on the side of the wing. Found it in my back yard.

Question Mark Butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis)

My photos can also be found at

Question Marks and Eastern Commas were "puddling" on a "leaky" maple that dripped water and sap from holes sapsuckers had drilled into the trunk.


These species fly here on warm days in the winter.


Get permission for any use.

The "Question Mark" butterfly (as identified by the small white question mark on the underside wing which actually appears reversed) Looks like a dead leaf when the wings are closed for camouflage purposes, when open and viewed from above is a colorful butterfly. Found this in a woodlot near my home.

Hoorah! This is a good news story. Comma (Polygonia c-album) has been bucking the generally dramatic downward trend of insects in the UK by increasing its population by 50%+ over the last four decades, most notably expanding its range northwards,


Seen here on Hawthorn, the white underwing marking and the scalloped wing edges are clearly visible. For those in North America, your new world equivalent is the Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis).

Inusité ce joli papillon par sa forme et sa couleur. Je l'ai découvert à l'orée des bois. Nombreux à butiner la même fleur, soit une variété de verge d'or .

Question Mark - Polygonia interrogationis

Sipping some fermenting sap from a wounded willow oak, Quercus phellos, in a park. I really had to contort myself to get the camera into position.

No question, it's a beauty. Ellicott City, Howard County, Maryland.

Delete401to500 277 Question Mark, female, fall color form polygonia interrogationis

Polygonia interrogationis

Photographed in the Dixon Gardens in Memphis, Tennessee.


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Late in the evening I found this question mark butterfly high in a hackberry tree.

Tarde por una tarde, se me encontró esta mariposa ninfa alta en un almez americano.

The Question Mark, while never overly common was more numerous in 2018 than in any year prior to. Mainly toward the end of the season, which was a pleasant surprise for this very photogenic woodland butterfly.


ISO400, aperture f/8, exposure .001 seconds (1/800) focal length 300mm

The question mark butterfly caterpillars (Polygonia interrogationis) that I rescued from a volunteer elm sapling about to get obliterated are getting big!

The first of the season! Photographed on freshly-bloomed Edgeworthia in the Dixon Gardens in Memphis, Tennessee.


Member of Nature’s Spirit

Good Stewards of Nature


© 2016 Curt Hart - All Rights Reserved

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