red-spotted purple

(Limenitis arthemis astyanax)

Conservation Status
red-spotted purple
Photo by Tom Baker
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

S5 - Secure

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Red-spotted purple is a large brush-footed butterfly with a 3 to 3½ wingspan.

The upper side is dark blue, the underside is dark brown. The upper side of the forewing is dark bluish-black near the body fading to dark brown or orangish-brown near the tip. There is a submarginal row of orange spots and three marginal rows white or pale blue spots. The upper side of the hindwing is dark blue fading to a submarginal row of iridescent light blue spots. There are also three marginal rows pale blue spots.

The underside of both wings is brownish-black with a submarginal row of orange spots and three marginal rows white or pale blue spots. There are additional black-ringed orange spots near the base of each wing.

The range of this species overlaps that of the white admiral (Limenitis arthemis arthemis) in a broad band from Connecticut to southwestern Minnesota. Where the ranges overlap the subspecies interbreed and produce offspring with intergrading characteristics.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Wingspan: 3 to 3¼

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Deciduous or mixed forests dominated by aspen or birch.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Late May to early September

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

 

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

The female lays eggs singly on leaf tips of host plants. Offspring of the first brood emerge in August. The offspring of the second brood overwinter as caterpillars in rolled leaves, pupate in the spring, and emerge as adults in June.

 
     
 

Larva Hosts

 
 

Leaves of American basswood, aspen, birch, black cherry, hawthorn, oak, serviceberry, willow, and other trees.

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Sap flows, rotting fruit, aphid honeydew, carrion, dung, and occasionally nectar from small white flowers including meadowsweet and arrowwood.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 20, 21, 24, 30.

 
  6/10/2021      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Rare

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)  
 

Suborder

Glossata  
 

Infraorder

Neolepidoptera  
  Parvorder Heteroneura  
  No Rank Ditrysia  
  No Rank Obtectomera  
 

Superfamily

Papilionoidea (butterflies [excluding skippers])  
 

Family

Nymphalidae (brush-foots)  
 

Subfamily

Limenitidinae (admirals and relatives)  
 

Tribe

Limenitidini  
  Subtribe Limenitidina (admirals)  
 

Genus

Limenitis  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

red-spotted purple

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

Share your photo of this insect.

 
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Margot Avey

 
  I took this photo on August 1st at Westwood Nature Center in St Louis Park, MN. I believe it is a Red-Spotted Purple Swallowtail.   red-spotted purple  
           
  Here is one more photo I shot at the end of July at the gardens at Crystal Bay on Lake Minnetonka, MN. It is exquisite!   red-spotted purple  
 

Nanc

 
 

Spotted in front yard rocks.

 
    red-spotted purple   red-spotted purple  
           
    red-spotted purple      
 

Heidi Wahl

 
    red-spotted purple      
 

Jon Burgoyne

 
 

Sand Dunes State Forest surprise

 
    red-spotted purple   red-spotted purple  
           
    red-spotted purple      
 

Chris Larson

 
 

Freshly emerged from the cocoon.

 
    red-spotted purple   red-spotted purple  
           
    red-spotted purple      
 

Laurén D.

 
 

My first time seeing one in our garden. A true beauty!

 
    red-spotted purple   red-spotted purple  
 

Lynda

 
 

First time I’ve seen this beauty in my garden

 
    red-spotted purple      
 

Ida Marie

 
 

Never seen one before.....beautiful!!

 
    red-spotted purple   red-spotted purple  
 

Tom Baker

 
    red-spotted purple   red-spotted purple  
           
    red-spotted purple      
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

Fresh

 
    red-spotted purple   red-spotted purple  
           
    red-spotted purple      
           
 

Tattered

 
    red-spotted purple   red-spotted purple  
           

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
Red Spotted Purple
DianesDigitals
  Red Spotted Purple  
 
About

Copyright DianesDigitals

 
Limenitis arthemis (Red-spotted Purple)
Allen Chartier
  Limenitis arthemis (Red-spotted Purple)  
Red-spotted Purple Butterfly
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
  Red-spotted Purple Butterfly  
     

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

Share your video of this insect.

 
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Attach a video, a YouTube link, or a cloud storage link.
 
 

 

 
     
     
       
       
       
 
Other Videos
 
  Garden Butterfly: Limenitis Arthemis Astyanax (Black and Blue Wings)
Gary Pilarchik
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 20, 2012

Part of gardening is the wildlife. This is a video the shows the beautiful colors of the Limenitis Arthemis Astyanax. Black velvet wings with sky blue light markings on the edge. The upper parts of the wing and undersides have rust orange spots. The butterfly sits on a Sedum.

 
  Red Spotted Purple Butterfly
Kim Smith
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jul 8, 2010

Red-spotted Purple butterfly (Limenitis arthemis astyanax) warming wings and nectaring from native meadowsweet (Spirea latifolia), filmed in our Gloucester garden in early July.

 
  ♥ Mating Pair, Red-spotted Purple, (Limenitis arthemis astyanax) Clip #293
SaltWaterDiatoms
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Aug 8, 2009

"This is a subspecies of another butterfly called the White Admiral (L. a. arthemis), which, at first glance, doesn't look much like our Red-spotted Purple."
http://www.duke.edu/~jspippen/butterflies/redspottedpurple.htm

Photos/Video for Non-Commercial, Educational Purpose
http://www.zoology-quest.net/wiki/index.php/Limenitis%20arthemis%20astyanax

CLASSIFICATION
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Arthropoda
Subphylum Hexapoda
Class Insecta
Subclass Pterygota
Infraclass Neoptera -- modern, wing-folding insects
Order Lepidoptera -- Borboleta, butterflies, Mariposa, moths, papillons, papillons de nuit
Superfamily Papilionoidea -- butterflies, papillons
Family Nymphalidae
Subfamily Limenitidinae
Tribe Limenitidini
Genus Limenitis Fabricius, 1807
Species Limenitis arthemis (Drury) -- white admiral
Sub-species Limenitis arthemis astyanax (Red Spotted Purple)
http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=188603

 
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this insect.

 
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Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.
 
  Margot Avey
6/4/2020

Location: Westwood Nature Center, St. Louis Park, MN

I took this photo on August 1st at Westwood Nature Center in St Louis Park, MN. I believe it is a Red-Spotted Purple Swallowtail.

red-spotted purple  
  Nanc
6/5/2021

Location: Brooklyn Park, Mn

Spotted in front yard rocks.

red-spotted purple  
  Heidi Wahl
6/11/2021

Location: Richville MN

red-spotted purple  
  Jon Burgoyne
6/9/2021

Location: Sherburne

Sand Dunes State Forest surprise

red-spotted purple  
  Margot Avey
6/4/2020

Location: Noerenberg Memorial Gardens - Three Rivers Park District, Crystal Bay, Lake Minnetonka MN

Here is one more photo I shot at the end of July at the gardens at Crystal Bay on Lake Minnetonka, MN. It is exquisite!

red-spotted purple  
  Chris Larson
7/25/2019

Location: Edina, MN

Freshly emerged from the cocoon.

red-spotted purple  
  Laurén D.
7/15/2019

Location: Lake Phalen, Saint Paul, Ramsey County MN

My first time seeing one in our garden. A true beauty!

red-spotted purple  
  Roman
7/20/2018

Location: Edina

Discovered this in my backyard floating between the cherry, aspen and basswood trees!

 
  Lynda
7/19/2018

Location: Richfield, MN

First time I’ve seen this beauty in my garden

red-spotted purple  
  Ida Marie
7/29/2016

Location: Ramsey, MN, near the Mississippi River

Never seen one before.....beautiful!!

red-spotted purple  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
   

 

 

Binoculars


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