OK, I’ve exhausted my exclamation point quota for the day, but on my walk this morning I was surprised to have a new butterfly flit across my path and land close enough for me to get several quick shots. I was sure I hadn’t seen this one before – and as it turns out, I’ve never heard of it before. In fact, when I read the caption of it in “The Butterfly Book” I thought there was some mistake. It talked about comparing the “question mark” with the “similar comma pictured below.” Huh? but what were their names?
I felt like I was in a “who’s on first” routine, but careful reading revealed that “question mark” really was the name of one – as was “comma” of another, very similar. Not only that, they both belonged to a group called “angle wings” – that’s “angle” – not “angel” as I first assumed. It refers to the many angles along the trailing edge of the wing – angles that are much more pronounced on the smaller comma. So here’s my question mark – polygonia interrogationis.
The book says that one distinctive trait of these butterflies is when they land and fold their wings the color goes and they look like a dead leaf – nice disguise. In fact, they frequently land on the bark of a tree and become nearly invisible. But there’s more to that dull side of the wing – take a look.
They are closely related to other butterflies I’ve seen on Gooseberry, included the American Painted Lady and Buckeye. I’ll add this to my composite list of Gooseberry butterflies.
Cool – that really made my morning excursion – except when I got home I may have made another discovery. Looking closely at the butterfly pictures I found something in the background I have never seen – and they look a whole lot like Gooseberries! Honestly – I have searched many times for any sign of a gooseberry on Gooseberry Island – well stay tuned. I may have at last found them. But I need to check it out very carefully first.