Is That a Question Mark?

68f-polygonia-interrogationisWell, it may be. But it might have been a comma. But it’s one of those. Period.

And what are we talking about? Butterflies? Who knew there was a question mark butterfly? And a comma? And they look very much alike. But I saw one or the other yesterday. One was in my yard, and another was just opposite the east side of Lochwood Park. They are quite pretty little guys (aren’t all butterflies?). If you look carefully at the pictures of the undersides of their wings (in the links below)  you’ll see how they got their names. Took me a while to see this in the pictures, and I didn’t know to even look for this when I saw the butterfly. So, watch your punctuation and who knows what you might see!

You certainly don’t have to be able to name something to enjoy it, but if you want to know more about something, or tell someone else about what you saw, a name is a really helpful thing to know. Once I looked up in a butterfly guide and found a picture of what I thought I was seeing, I could go to the internet and look up about where it is found, and information about its life history, and diet, and how common it is. I could even find information about how common they are here in Dallas. Without a name I could not have done any of these things.

The Dallas County Lepidopterists’ Society has some of the best pictures, and is sited by other pages on the internet as well.

Here is a page with the two side by side:

And another page with good information:

The picture at the top of this post is from

and is copyright by Stephen Cresswell.


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