Red Spotted Purple Butterfly

Bug, butterfly, Identification, Photography / Thursday, May 31st, 2012

I always get excited when I see a red spotted purple butterfly.  The eye cannot resist following the trail of these gorgeous iridescent blue and black butterflies.  The name seems a bit strange at first glance, given that these butterflies look blue, not purple, and the red spots are not very prominent.  (You can faintly make out this butterfly’s red spots near the tip of the right forewing.  The other wing is too shadowed to see the red spots.)  But if you were to see the other side of the wings the name would make more sense!

I often see red spotted purples in the woods, floating from flower to flower, or sometimes perched on the ground.  This butterfly was visiting flowers where the edge of the woods meet with the perimeter of a lake.  Found throughout middle and eastern USA (north and south portions.)

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