Attributes of Polygonia interrogationis

Question Mark
Polygonia interrogationis (Fabricius, 1798)

Family: Nymphalidae
Subfamily: Nymphalinae
Identification: Forewing hooked; upperside is red-orange with black spots. Upperside hindwing of summer form is mostly black with a short tail; that of winter form has much orange and a longer, violet-tipped tail. Underside is light brown; hindwing with pearly white question mark in center.
Wing Span: 2 1/4 - 3 inches (5.7 - 7.6 cm).
Life History: Males find females by perching on leaves or tree trunks in the afternoon, flying to chase other insects and even birds. Females lay eggs singly or stacked under leaves of plants that are usually not the hosts. Caterpillars must find a host plant; they then eat leaves and live alone. Adults of the winter form hibernate; some staying in the north, many migrating to the south.
Flight: Overwintered adults fly and lay eggs in the spring until the end of May. The summer form emerges and flies from May-September, laying eggs that develop into the winter form; these adults appear in late August and spend the winter in various shelters.
Caterpillar Hosts: American elm (Ulmus americanus), red elm (Ulmus rubra), hackberry (Celtis), Japanese hop (Humulus japonicus), nettles (Urtica), and false nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica).
Adult Food: Rotting fruit, tree sap, dung, carrion. Only when these are unavailable do Question Marks visit flowers such as common milkweed, aster, and sweet pepperbush.
Habitat: Wooded areas with some open space, city parks, suburbs, fencerows.
Range: Southern Canada and all of the eastern United States except peninsular Florida, west to the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains, south to southern Arizona and Mexico.
Conservation: Not usually required.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: None reported.
Taxonomy Notes:

Images of Polygonia interrogationis

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The map below displays all BAMONA data for this species and has three different data layers:
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*The orange dots on the map provide access to information about the 400 most recently verified sightings of this species. Sometimes, there are several records at the same location. Use the table view to access these records.

By default, the fifty most recently verified sightings are below. Sort by Observation Date to see the most recent sightings, or filter the sightings by region to get a regional list.

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Observation Date Submitter Region Verified Datesort icon
October 23, 2013 TheWayfarer21 Onslow County, North Carolina, United States September 26, 2014 Details
September 04, 2014 Doug Bruce Carroll County, Tennessee, United States September 14, 2014 Details
September 03, 2014 Doug Bruce Obion County, Tennessee, United States September 09, 2014 Details
September 03, 2014 stephen stedman Crockett County, Tennessee, United States September 08, 2014 Details
September 03, 2014 Doug Bruce Lake County, Tennessee, United States September 08, 2014 Details
August 25, 2014 b.cn.u Ontario, Canada September 06, 2014 Details
August 03, 2013 Aaron Musson Douglas County, Nebraska, United States August 31, 2014 Details
August 06, 2014 Shane Miller Beaver County, Pennsylvania, United States August 31, 2014 Details
August 28, 2014 juliereid Ontario, Canada August 29, 2014 Details
August 28, 2014 CA Ivy Sebastian County, Arkansas, United States August 28, 2014 Details
August 21, 2014 jennynoel77 Ellis County, Kansas, United States August 24, 2014 Details
August 23, 2014 jdhulse0606 Dallas County, Texas, United States August 24, 2014 Details
August 21, 2014 juliereid Ontario, Canada August 22, 2014 Details
July 27, 2014 mathgeek Jackson County, Illinois, United States August 18, 2014 Details
June 12, 2014 mw66 Pottawattamie County, Iowa, United States August 17, 2014 Details
August 14, 2014 Elaine Link Macoupin County, Illinois, United States August 14, 2014 Details
July 29, 2014 ankicazander Washtenaw County, Michigan, United States August 11, 2014 Details
July 30, 2014 Paul Tavares Ontario, Canada August 10, 2014 Details
August 06, 2014 Molanic Du Page County, Illinois, United States August 09, 2014 Details
August 08, 2014 Jennifer Jilks Ontario, Canada August 09, 2014 Details
August 07, 2014 uvires1 Woodward County, Oklahoma, United States August 07, 2014 Details
August 02, 2014 jim8435wisc Adams County, Wisconsin, United States August 05, 2014 Details
August 02, 2014 arcturusangel Harrison County, Texas, United States August 04, 2014 Details
July 31, 2014 cblazo Franklin County, Pennsylvania, United States August 03, 2014 Details
August 02, 2014 Sguig Ontario, Canada August 02, 2014 Details
July 12, 2014 catharinejo Jackson County, Kansas, United States August 01, 2014 Details
July 27, 2014 Gappie1956 Woodward County, Oklahoma, United States July 29, 2014 Details
July 25, 2014 Mapper Johnson County, Illinois, United States July 26, 2014 Details
July 20, 2014 ghost Dane County, Wisconsin, United States July 25, 2014 Details
July 20, 2014 Mapper Johnson County, Illinois, United States July 22, 2014 Details
July 20, 2014 Brad Senne Wood County, West Virginia, United States July 22, 2014 Details
July 25, 2013 anna_holmes Madison County, Alabama, United States July 21, 2014 Details
June 26, 2014 Sweettea Gilmer County, Georgia, United States July 21, 2014 Details
July 19, 2014 tom nolan (lean year for Question Marks in southern jersey) Burlington County, New Jersey, United States July 20, 2014 Details
July 20, 2014 grayhairstreak New Castle County, Delaware, United States July 20, 2014 Details
July 01, 2014 jim8435wisc Columbia County, Wisconsin, United States July 12, 2014 Details
July 12, 2014 gspoone Jefferson County, Oklahoma, United States July 12, 2014 Details
June 27, 2014 dwightrholmes Prince Georges County, Maryland, United States July 09, 2014 Details
July 06, 2014 stephen stedman Warren County, Tennessee, United States July 07, 2014 Details
May 21, 2012 julmast Elkhart County, Indiana, United States July 05, 2014 Details
July 01, 2014 lindamae Stark County, Ohio, United States July 05, 2014 Details
June 26, 2014 juliereid Ontario, Canada June 27, 2014 Details
June 24, 2014 lanaerench Saline County, Kansas, United States June 25, 2014 Details
June 15, 2014 rogerashton Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States June 18, 2014 Details
June 13, 2014 CA Ivy Sebastian County, Arkansas, United States June 13, 2014 Details
May 25, 2014 Doug Bruce Meigs County, Tennessee, United States June 09, 2014 Details
June 03, 2014 AJ Trently Lauderdale County, Tennessee, United States June 03, 2014 Details
June 02, 2014 meggus Cook County, Illinois, United States June 02, 2014 Details
May 24, 2014 Nala Texas, San Jacinto County, United States June 01, 2014 Details
May 29, 2014 CA Ivy Sebastian County, Arkansas, United States May 30, 2014 Details