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
July 05, 2015 Negscott Cheatham County, Tennessee, United States July 05, 2015 Details
June 17, 2015 stephen stedman Smith County, Tennessee, United States July 02, 2015 Details
October 01, 2002 Joe Saunders Mercer County, West Virginia, United States July 02, 2015 Details
July 02, 2015 Bill Emch Lee County, South Carolina, United States July 02, 2015 Details
June 29, 2015 unknown Texas, Randall County, United States June 29, 2015 Details
June 28, 2015 ravelis02 Kankakee County, Illinois, United States June 28, 2015 Details
June 28, 2015 roseanna Casey County, Kentucky, United States June 28, 2015 Details
June 24, 2015 Bill Emch Chester County, South Carolina, United States June 28, 2015 Details
June 05, 2015 OhioHick Washington County, Maryland, United States June 27, 2015 Details
September 17, 2011 Clarentine Goochland County, Virginia, United States June 27, 2015 Details
April 20, 2015 ncrosbyrd McIntosh County, Georgia, United States June 23, 2015 Details
June 09, 2015 sh11 Ontario, Canada June 22, 2015 Details
June 16, 2015 Dan and Mary Fisher Eau Claire County, Wisconsin, United States June 19, 2015 Details
May 09, 2015 adamschaffer Benton County, Arkansas, United States June 19, 2015 Details
June 19, 2015 Lcrosa Bexar County, Texas, United States June 19, 2015 Details
June 17, 2015 billanddogs St Lawrence County, New York, United States June 17, 2015 Details
June 09, 2015 Lcrosa Bexar County, Texas, United States June 17, 2015 Details
May 16, 2015 Ioana Dallas County, Texas, United States June 17, 2015 Details
May 14, 2015 quick3beers Hamilton County, Ohio, United States June 15, 2015 Details
June 09, 2015 SkrentnyJeff Cook County, Illinois, United States June 13, 2015 Details
June 09, 2015 sarah2010b Logan County, Oklahoma, United States June 10, 2015 Details
June 07, 2015 gunhilda Payne County, Oklahoma, United States June 07, 2015 Details
June 04, 2015 sh11 Ontario, Canada June 06, 2015 Details
May 26, 2015 SkrentnyJeff Cook County, Illinois, United States June 05, 2015 Details
May 31, 2015 Lock Lake County, Illinois, United States June 05, 2015 Details
May 29, 2015 jimmything Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, United States June 05, 2015 Details
May 31, 2015 digginflowers Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, United States June 05, 2015 Details
July 22, 2014 SaraJE Ontario, Canada June 02, 2015 Details
May 28, 2015 John LeBlanc Chesterfield County, Virginia, United States May 31, 2015 Details
May 02, 2015 Bethburger Palm Beach County, Florida, United States May 29, 2015 Details
May 28, 2015 Jonathan Clark La Salle Parish, Louisiana, United States May 29, 2015 Details
May 25, 2015 stephen stedman Johnson County, Tennessee, United States May 28, 2015 Details
April 23, 2015 mathgeek Jackson County, Illinois, United States May 26, 2015 Details
May 23, 2015 Doug Bruce Unicoi County, Tennessee, United States May 24, 2015 Details
May 24, 2015 Doug Bruce Carter County, Tennessee, United States May 24, 2015 Details
May 18, 2015 Sleonard09 Muskegon County, Michigan, United States May 21, 2015 Details
May 18, 2015 John Schwartz Kane County, Illinois, United States May 20, 2015 Details
May 16, 2015 Doug Bruce Knox County, Tennessee, United States May 17, 2015 Details
April 26, 2015 jchandlerl@att.net Dallas County, Texas, United States May 11, 2015 Details
May 11, 2015 CA Ivy Sebastian County, Arkansas, United States May 11, 2015 Details
September 18, 2014 domnsky Cedar County, Iowa, United States May 10, 2015 Details
May 10, 2015 Smileysydney1 Okfuskee County, Oklahoma, United States May 10, 2015 Details
May 10, 2015 Tammy James Cleveland County, Oklahoma, United States May 10, 2015 Details
April 26, 2015 kaywhipkey Hillsborough County, Florida, United States May 06, 2015 Details
April 26, 2015 Jonathan Clark Catahoula Parish, Louisiana, United States May 06, 2015 Details
May 04, 2015 inthelikeness Comanche County, Texas, United States May 04, 2015 Details
April 29, 2015 Ioana Texas, United States May 01, 2015 Details
April 30, 2015 whbauer Bexar County, Texas, United States May 01, 2015 Details
April 08, 2015 KristyBaker Hidalgo County, Texas, United States April 30, 2015 Details
April 25, 2015 Wendylittle Charleston County, South Carolina, United States April 26, 2015 Details