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Red-spotted Purple

Limenitis arthemis


Upperside was deep blue with a lot of iridescence on the outer part of the hindwings. The underside of the wings was dark brown. The forewings had 2 red bars near the base of the leading edge, but they were somewhat faded.


I spotted this beauty "mud-puddling" on the side of a river in a deciduous forest.


It's not uncommon to see butterflies sitting on the ground, sucking up mud. This behavior is called “mud-puddling”. Butterflies do it in order to gain certain nutrients that they can't get from nectar, such as salt, nitrogen, protein, and amino acids. Male butterflies especially seem to benefit from the extra sodium intake which increases their reproductive success. The extra sodium is often transferred to the female with the spermatophore during mating as a nuptial gift. This enhanced nutrition also increases the survival rate of the eggs. While mud-puddling usually takes place on wet soil, desperate butterflies will also seek nutrients from sweat, blood, and feces. See my spotting here to see a butterfly puddling scat:

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Christine Y.
Spotted by
Christine Y.

Connecticut, USA

Spotted on Jul 18, 2017
Submitted on Nov 15, 2017

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