Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis Arthemis)

Red-spotted Purple

By William T. Hathaway

The Red-spotted Purple is a common butterfly in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. I first encountered one spreading its wings while perched on a macadam road. The lustrous blue wings, which turned out to be those of a male, astonished me to such extent that I almost fell off my bicycle. My specimen on a pinning board, as pictured, shows the iridescent blue wings of the male.

The butterfly appears from April to October with two broods. Two red markings on the underside of the species are responsible for its name “Red-spotted Purple.”