Red-spotted Purple – Limenitis arthemis astyanax


Limenitis arthemis astyanax Red-spotted Purple on Silphium perfoliatum – cup plant

From above, the Red-spotted Purple is primarily a black butterfly with iridescent blue, that is most impressive in good light, where the red spots that are noticeable from below can sometimes be seen. This butterfly is a mimic of the Pipevine Swallowtail and as such looks like a miniature swallowtail, but with no tail. There are a few white spots near the apex of the forewing. Below, this butterfly is black with blue spots in the wing margins, but obvious submarginal red spots in both the forewing and hindwing and some red spots nearer the body.


The red-spotted purple is resident from Florida westward to eastern Texas and northward into Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire.

Preferred plant hosts for red-spotted purple larvae in Florida are black cherry, deerberry and occasionally willows. In the Northern states, a variety of other plants are used including aspens, poplars, cottonwood, hawthorn, birches, black oak, and serviceberry.

ยฉ Ilex – Midwestern Plants

5 thoughts on “Red-spotted Purple – Limenitis arthemis astyanax

  1. Pretty thing ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t know many butterflies in CT – just the horrid white moth thing that decimates my nasturtiums when they are in full bloom – and they can disappear overnight!


  2. Pingback: Summer Blooming Flowers 9-2-2014 | Midwestern Plants

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