The Question Mark is a beautiful orange and black butterfly with sharply angled wing margins, and short tails-like projections. When the wings are unfurled, the borders of the wings are powdery white. The forewing is orange in color with dark spots. The upper portion of the hind wings is black during the summer months and orange during the winter. When the wings are folded they are the color of dry leaves with a small silver curve and dot, that gives the species its common name.


Question Mark Butterfly” by Henry T. McLin, licensed under (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


Question Mark Facts

Butterfly Family: Brush-footed Butterflies (Nymphalidae)

Butterfly Subfamily: Nymphalinae

Butterfly Wingspan: 2 1/4 – 3 inches

Butterfly Habitat: Wooded areas with some open space, city parks, suburbs, and fencerows.


Question Mark Host and Nectar Plants

Host Plants:

  • American Elm
  • Red Elm
  • Hackberry
  • Japanese Hop
  • Nettles
  • False Nettles

Nectar Plants:

  • Milkweeds
  • Asters
  • Pepperbush