Species Page: Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis astyanax)

Red-spotted Purple

Limenitis arthemis astyanax (Fabricius, 1775)

Family: Nymphalidae

Status: Occasional resident

NENHP Rank: Not listed

Range:  Subspecies of Liminitis arthemis occupy most of the eastern half of the United States and southern Canada and Alaska. Subspecies astyanax is found from southern Texas and Florida north to southern North Dakota and New York. In Nebraska it is found primarily in the eastern half of the state.

Larval Hostplant(s): Primarily chokecherry (Prunus virginiana). Oviposition has been observed on quaking aspen in the Niobrara River valley.

Broods/Flight Times: A full brood peaking in mid-late June and a partial to full second in August.

Overwintering: Small larvae overwinter in rolled up shelters made up of host plant leaves which they attach to the plant with silk.

Habitat: Found mostly along woodland margins where the host plant is present.

Avg. Wingspan: 2 1/4 – 4 inches

Found at:

Similar Species: Black and Pipe-vine Swallowtails.

Notes: Red-spotted Purples mimic Pipevine Swallowtails who are distasteful to predators. Larvae resemble bird droppings. Hybrids between this species and Weidemeyer’s Admirals have been found at the Niobrara Valley Preserve.