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Forewing hooked; upperside is red-orange with black spots. Upperside hindwing of summer form is mostly black with a short tail; that of winter form has much orange and a longer, violet-tipped tail. Underside is light brown; hindwing with pearly white question mark in center.
Stillhouse Hollow, Tennessee
Photo 1 shows the ventral view of the wing with the "questionmark" that gives this butterfly its name (bottom leaf of wing). The second one shows how well the drab coloration blends in with the leaf litter - Questionmarks overwinter in leaf litter & cracks in trees so this camouflage is critical to their survival. The last two show the dorsal side of the butterfly in all its (rather faded!) glory! This one looks like it has recently come out of diapause.