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Question mark caterpillar, (3rd instar)

Polygonia interrogationis


It is a brightly colored non-venomous caterpillar that has black and white speckles on the body with orange and yellow spines.The caterpillar has colorful spines to act like it is venomous, this is also known as aposematism coloration.These colors make birds think that they are deadly and leave them alone.The caterpillars feed on Hackberry, (celtis).Hackberry can be common in these areas.The butterflies have orange and brown wings with a silver question mark symbol on the underside.


Semi-urban, Fort Worth, Texas.This caterpillar was found as eggs, and were bred to the 3rd instar.These caterpillars can also live in many terrains like urban habitats and sub-urban.They also like parks with lots of vegetation surrounding giving a place for the female butterfly to lay eggs.


This species has been found in southern Canada and all of the eastern United States except peninsular Florida, west to the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains, south to southern Arizona and Mexico. It is known to be migratory.

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ornithoptera80 a week ago

Thank you, Suchandra Das.

Suchandra Das
Suchandra Das a week ago

Nice spotting

ornithoptera80 a week ago

Thanks Photomadden, I used a Samsung Galaxy S8 plus.

Photomadden a week ago

Amazing photo! What camera or lense was used? because the photo has such detail and I have started down a photography path and want to see what equipment is more popular or effective.

Spotted by

Spotted on May 21, 2020
Submitted on May 21, 2020

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