Entomology Collection TitleImage Bugs Pinned
Species Page - Polygonia interrogationis
species list search results ->Polygonia interrogationis ->species page

E-mail this Page   
Print this Page   
Link to this Page   

scientific name    Polygonia interrogationis    

common name     Question Mark

Usually found near woodlands; only one Alberta record, near Lloydminster.

One brood per year in Canada, occurring in May to June and again in August and September.

The large size (wingspan 45 to 68 mm), long, thin tails and violet edging to the wings easily distinguish the Question Mark from other Polygonia in the province.

life history
The pale green eggs are laid singly or in stacks of up to eight on young leaves of the hostplant (Scott 1986). The larvae are spiny and variable in colour, usually black with white dots, reddish brown lateral lines, and yellow dorsal lines (Scott 1986). The pupa can also be quite variable, ranging in colour from yellow- to reddisah brown or green with a mettalic gold or silver spot near the middle (Scott 1986). This species is multi-brooded in the southern parts of its range, but in Canada there is only one yearly generation (Layberry et al. 1998). It appears that the Question Mark may migrate southward in the fall to overwinter, returning in the spring (Layberry et al. 1998), unlike other members of this genus which do not migrate. It is unclear if the single Alberta record represents a stray individual or an accidental introduction, and field work needed to establish the status of this species.

Conservation status unknown.

diet info
Larvae feed on stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), elm (Ulmus spp.) and hops (Humulus lupulus) (Layberry et al. 1998). Adults rarely visit flowers, instead preferring sap flows from injured tree trunks, carrion and mammal scat.

Primarily a species of the eastern and central US, reaching southern Canada from Newfoundland to southeastern Saskatchewan (Scott 1986, Layberry et al. 1998). The sole Alberta record is from a specimen collected on 14 May 1978 at Joy Mountain, Blackfoot Hills, 12 mi. SSW of Lloydminster by J. Smith (Kondla 1998). Blackfoot Hills near Lloydminster (Layberry et al. 1998).

quick link

Comments (0)Add New Comment

Comments are published according to our submission guidelines. The EH Strickland Entomological Museum does not necessarily endorse the views expressed.

Add New Comment (all fields are required)


Related Species Info
Display Hierarchy
References (3)
Specimen Info
There are 2 specimens of this species in the online database
Map Distribution
Adult Seasonal Distributioncreate a collection histogram with specimens
Specimen List (2)


Logo Department of Museums and Collections ServicesLogo University of Alberta