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Caterpillars of Eastern Forests

Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis astyanax)


JPG-Photo of Red-spotted Purple

Green or brown bird-dropping mimic with white abdominal saddle and long, black spinulose horns on second thoracic segment. Top of head with 2 small spinulose knobs. Second abdominal segment with prominent subdorsal swellings. Last thoracic segment humped; seventh and eighth abdominal segments as well but to lesser degree. White admiral (L. arthemis arthemis) dark with long thoracic horns slightly clubbed. Viceroy (L. archippus) similar but with pair of spine clusters atop thoracic and abdominal humps, conspicuous "ankle bracelets" of pale spines above each proleg, and more spinulose overall. Food: cherries, elms, oaks, poplars, willows, and others. Caterpillar: April to October; 3 or more generations in South, 2 in North.


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