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
June 08, 2014 Debbie Taylor Pope County, Arkansas, United States February 02, 2016 Details
June 24, 2010 Ilse Gebhard Kalamazoo County, Michigan, United States January 19, 2016 Details
July 12, 2015 CA Ivy (Jon C. Ivy) Adair County, Oklahoma, United States December 10, 2015 Details
June 17, 2015 Corey1487 Quebec, Canada December 09, 2015 Details
July 26, 2014 Jennifer Jilks Ontario, Canada December 05, 2015 Details
July 07, 2015 Charles Chernov Lake County, Illinois, United States November 28, 2015 Details
August 09, 2015 K Stilwell Tazewell County, Virginia, United States November 25, 2015 Details
June 16, 2015 butterflies are awesome Grayson County, Kentucky, United States November 13, 2015 Details
November 10, 2015 ButterBelle Putnam County, Tennessee, United States November 11, 2015 Details
July 05, 2015 curtis.lehman Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States November 06, 2015 Details
November 04, 2015 ButterBelle Putnam County, Tennessee, United States November 04, 2015 Details
June 16, 2015 SkrentnyJeff Cook County, Illinois, United States November 01, 2015 Details
June 10, 2015 jra1111 Cook County, Illinois, United States October 29, 2015 Details
October 21, 2015 ralphminer McHenry County, Illinois, United States October 21, 2015 Details
October 20, 2015 ButterBelle Putnam County, Tennessee, United States October 20, 2015 Details
October 14, 2015 stephen stedman Crockett County, Tennessee, United States October 14, 2015 Details
October 13, 2015 stephen stedman Franklin County, Tennessee, United States October 13, 2015 Details
October 09, 2015 Doug Bruce Tipton County, Tennessee, United States October 12, 2015 Details
October 09, 2015 Doug Bruce Crockett County, Tennessee, United States October 12, 2015 Details
October 05, 2015 Mapper Johnson County, Illinois, United States October 07, 2015 Details
October 06, 2015 Doug Bruce Tipton County, Tennessee, United States October 07, 2015 Details
October 05, 2015 Doug Bruce McNairy County, Tennessee, United States October 06, 2015 Details
September 19, 2015 John LeBlanc Chesterfield County, Virginia, United States October 02, 2015 Details
July 17, 2015 woodcrvr Dubuque County, Iowa, United States September 29, 2015 Details
July 18, 2015 woodcrvr Dubuque County, Iowa, United States September 29, 2015 Details
September 19, 2015 Squeenz Livingston County, New York, United States September 27, 2015 Details
September 23, 2015 underwood.jones Wyandotte County, Kansas, United States September 25, 2015 Details
August 09, 2015 wayne13114 Oswego County, New York, United States September 25, 2015 Details
September 21, 2015 ButterBelle Putnam County, Tennessee, United States September 24, 2015 Details
September 04, 2015 Jennifer Jilks Ontario, Canada September 16, 2015 Details
September 13, 2015 Chris Blomme Ontario, Canada September 14, 2015 Details
August 23, 2014 Trailmaker Jefferson County, Ohio, United States September 13, 2015 Details
September 13, 2015 stephen stedman Jackson County, Tennessee, United States September 13, 2015 Details
September 10, 2015 ddozem88 Allegan County, Michigan, United States September 12, 2015 Details
September 11, 2015 ButterBelle Putnam County, Tennessee, United States September 12, 2015 Details
September 07, 2015 Doug Bruce Perry County, Tennessee, United States September 10, 2015 Details
August 16, 2015 stephen stedman Putnam County, Tennessee, United States August 29, 2015 Details
August 12, 2015 Mary Franceline Malone Bucks County, Pennsylvania, United States August 25, 2015 Details
April 20, 2012 sbruenjes Bergen County, New Jersey, United States August 24, 2015 Details
August 19, 2015 SpadGuy Shenandoah County, Virginia, United States August 24, 2015 Details
August 09, 2015 K Stilwell Tazewell County, Virginia, United States August 24, 2015 Details
August 22, 2015 rocksnstars Oxford County, Maine, United States August 22, 2015 Details
August 16, 2015 Doug Bruce Overton County, Tennessee, United States August 21, 2015 Details
July 12, 2015 Chesaloosa Caroline County, Maryland, United States August 18, 2015 Details
March 31, 2015 Ron Smith Levy County, Florida, United States August 17, 2015 Details
April 12, 2015 Ron Smith Polk County, Florida, United States August 17, 2015 Details
August 12, 2015 mbird4998 Walworth County, Wisconsin, United States August 16, 2015 Details
August 08, 2015 Doug Bruce Lawrence County, Tennessee, United States August 12, 2015 Details
May 05, 2015 Eleonore Comal County, Texas, United States August 11, 2015 Details
August 08, 2015 Doug Bruce Giles County, Tennessee, United States August 08, 2015 Details