Question Mark
Polygonia interrogationis
Sept. 7, 2008

  The Question Mark. And that's a butterfly that should be held dear by writers and editors. The question mark is both beautiful and functional (from a punctuation point of view).

It would have been too natural if this genus of butterflies was named Punctuation, but no, that didn't happen (and so losing a great opportunity). The actual genus is Angelwings.

The question mark is a moderate size butterfly, perhaps two-thirds of the size of a monarch. The question mark's upper wing colors and pattern are brilliant.

Question Mark, open wings
  But where does the name question mark come from?

It comes from a silver pattern on the underwing:

Question Mark, closed wings
  No, the question mark's question mark isn't obvious.

Following is a magnification of the question mark.
Question mark of the Question Mark
Okay? Now can you find the question mark in the middle photo?

The other butterfly in the genus Angelwings is the comma. But that's for another day.

Photo note: The first photo was taken nearly a year ago with the Pentax *1st D and the SMC 1000mm reflex lens; the second photo (along with enlargement) was taken in July with the same camera but the SMC-A* 200mm macro lens.

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