Question Mark – Polygonia interrogationis

Named for the ? white mark on the outside of their hindwings, Question Mark butterflies are found in all states east of the Continental Divide.

Question Mark butterfly Polygonia interrogationis white mark on wings

The white question mark on a
Question Mark butterfly’s hind wing

Question Mark butterflies host on hackberry (Celtis), false nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica), American elm (Ulmus americanus), hackberry (Celtis), Japanese hop (Humulus japonicus), red elm (Ulmus rubra), and nettles (Urtica). We have raised this species on hackberry, American elm, false nettle, and Japanese hop.

Question Mark butterfly laying eggs

Question Mark butterfly laying green eggs

Eggs are green and are often laid in stacks, or towers, one on top of another.

Question Mark butterfly eggs are often laid in stacks or towers

Question Mark butterfly eggs
are often laid in stacks or towers

In captivity, many eggs are often laid on the same leaf.

Question Mark butterfly green eggs laid in captivity

Question Mark eggs laid in captivity

Young Question Mark butterfly caterpillars

Young Question Mark butterfly caterpillars

Question Mark butterfly caterpillars

Question Mark butterfly caterpillars

Question Mark butterfly caterpillar

Question Mark butterfly caterpillar

Question Mark butterfly caterpillar

Question Mark butterfly caterpillar

Question Mark butterflies attach in a J to pupate. Their silk is pink.

Question Mark butterfly pre-pupa J'ing caterpillar

Question Mark butterfly
Pre-pupa / J’ing caterpillar

One day later, the caterpillar pupates into a brown chrysalis with metallic spots.

Question Mark Polygonia interrogationis butterfly Chrysalis Pupa

Question Mark Polygonia interrogationis Chrysalis

Question Mark Polygonia interrogationis butterfly

Question Mark Polygonia interrogationis butterfly

Question Mark Polygonia interrogationis butterfly

Question Mark Polygonia interrogationis butterfly

Question Mark butterflies often drink from rotting fruit. Placing fruit out for butterflies, especially near their host plants, will often draw them to your yard. This Question Mark is drinking from fruit in a bird suet feeder.

Question Mark Polygonia interrogationis butterfly on a fruit feeder

Question Mark butterfly on a fruit feeder

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