Mexico, USA & Canada
Red-spotted Purple / American
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
Limenitis arthemis astyanax, Indiana,
There are about
25-30 species in the genus Limenitis.
Some such as populi and
camilla are widely distributed across
Europe and temperate Asia. The majority however are largely
restricted to China and the countries of the former Soviet Union.
There are 4 species found in tropical Asia, but there the genus is
largely replaced by Neptis.
In North America
there are 4 Limenitis species -
subspecies of arthemis is known as the
Red-spotted Purple, but the northern race is called the American
White Admiral. The reason for the apparent confusion that the 2
subspecies are entirely different in appearance. The northern
Limenitis arthemis arthemis had dark
brown wings, with broad white bands, and has no trace of the
blue-purple sheen or the reddish spots at the apex of
Limenitis arthemis arthemis is found in
eastern Canada and north-eastern USA.
Limenitis arthemis astyanax is found in the southern USA. In
areas where the 2 subspecies overlap they breed and produce fertile
offspring that are mid way between arthemis
and astyanax in colour and pattern.
Limenitis arthemis astyanax, USA ©
This species is
found in open deciduous woodland habitats in temperate, subtropical
and subarctic regions of North America, at altitudes between sea
level and about 800m.
The larvae are
polyphagous, with foodplants including Salix,
and many other deciduous trees and shrubs.
imbibe mineralised moisture from damp ground, and also feed at sap
runs, dung, carrion, fermenting fruit and aphid secretions ( honey
dew ). Females feed mainly at flower nectar.
Limenitis arthemis arthemis, New
Hampshire, USA ©