Friday, May 03, 2013

Red-spotted Purple

A new butterfly for me.

Red-spotted Purple

Carthage, NC

I can not imagine I have gone my whole life and not seen this butterfly.. I am guessing I have seen it but not really noticed it before or taken the time to find out more about it.

P1070210From Butterflies and Moths of North America

RED-SPOTTED PURPLE: Upperside is blue to blue-green with much iridescence on the outer part of the hindwing. Underside is dark brown. Forewing has 2 red-orange bars near the base of the leading edge; hindwing has 3 red-orange spots near the base and a submarginal row of red-orange spots



Wing Span: 2 1/4 - 4 inches (5.7 - 10.1 cm).

Life History: Males perch 3 feet or more above the ground on trees and tall bushes and rarely patrol for females. Eggs are laid singly on tips of host plant leaves; caterpillars eat leaves. Third-stage caterpillars hibernate.

Flight: Two broods from April-October.



Caterpillar Hosts: Leaves of many species of trees and shrubs including wild cherry (Prunus), aspen, poplar, cottonwood (Populus), oaks (Quercus), hawthorn (Crataegus), deerberry (Vaccinium stamineum), birch (Betula), willows (Salix), basswood (Tilia), and shadbush (Amelanchier).



Adult Food: Sap flows, rotting fruit, carrion, dung, and occasionally nectar from small white flowers including spiraea, privet, and viburnum. White Admirals also sip aphid honeydew


Habitat: The White Admiral form is usually found in the north in deciduous broad-leaf or mixed evergreen forests dominated by aspen or birch. The Red-Spotted Purple form is usually found further south than the White Admiral, in deciduous or mixed forests, moist uplands, valley bottoms, and coastal plains.


If you need information or ID help use the online site Butterflies and Moths of North America

You can either submit a photo for ID help or use the online guide.

On this same website is a sightings map..via the website you can create an account and submit your sightings to the database.


Here are a few samples from their frequently asked questions..

How can I report a sighting of a butterfly, moth, or caterpillar?
How soon will my sighting be verified?
Can you identify my butterfly, moth, or caterpillar?
I saw a moth that looks like a hummingbird. What is it?
How can I submit photographs for display on a species page?
Can you tell me how to crop and watermark a digital photograph?
Who are the regional coordinators, and what do they do?
How long do butterflies and moths live?

Another great site

The Children's Butterfly Site

  For adults and children!

Some sample Frequently asked questions that are answered 

such as

    How do butterflies go to the bathroom?

Adult butterflies do not go to the bathroom. Caterpillars do all of the eating and almost continually defecate. Occasionally adult butterflies drink so much they must emit a fine liquid spray from the tip of their abdomen but it is almost pure water.


other Questions About Butterfly and Moth Behavior  ~ answered on this website….

Do butterflies eat bugs?
What do butterflies eat?
How do butterflies mate?
How do butterflies communicate?
How do butterflies fly?
How high and fast do butterflies fly?
Do caterpillars drink water?
Do butterflies sleep or take brief naps?
Where do butterflies go when it rains?
Do caterpillars hide somewhere at night?
How do butterflies stay warm?
How do butterflies bathe?



Two great resources..I hope you like them.

Do you have any favorite sites for Butterfly and Moth or insect ID?

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