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red-spotted purple

red-spotted purple (Limenitis arthemis)

Features and Behaviors

The red-spotted purple has a wingspan of three to four inches. The upperside of the wings is dark blue-black to blue-green. The underside of the forewing has two red-orange bars while the underside of the hindwing has three red-orange spots near the body and a row of red-orange spots near the outer edge of the wing. The caterpillar is gray-brown and white with a hump toward the front end.

The red-spotted purple may be found statewide in Illinois. Its caterpillar eats the leaves of wild black cherry, poplars, aspens, black oak and other plants. The larva overwinters in a shelter made of leaves.

Illinois Range


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Nymphalidae

Illinois Status: common, native