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Field Station

The University of Mississippi

Red-spotted Purple Limenitis arbemis

Posted on: December 9th, 2016 by kfyarbor

The red-spotted purple is a common butterfly of the UM Field Station twice a year in May-June and August-September.  It differs from the other “dark” swallowtails in that it has orange spots along the margin of the front wings but has no tails.  The red-spotted purple belongs to the family of brush-footed butterflies and is common throughout much of the eastern United States.  Males are generally a little larger than females, otherwise the two are identical.  Red-spotted purples are active in the day, from morning until just after dusk.  Their caterpillars feed on willow, birch, cottonwood and American hornbeam.