Red-spotted Purple
Limenitis arthemis

f25 @ 1/500s, ISO:2000, Nikon D3S w 105mm macro

"Limenitis arthemis," Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Limenitis arthemis, the red-spotted purple or white admiral, is a North American butterfly species in the cosmopolitan genus Limenitis. It has been studied for its evolution of mimicry, and for the several stable hybrid wing patterns within this nominal species; it is one of the most dramatic examples of hybridization between non-mimetic and mimetic populations. Limenitis arthemis can be split into two major groups, mainly based on one physical characteristic: the presence of a white band along the wings. Individuals of the northern group, called white admirals, have a conspicuous white band that traverse both the dorsal and ventral surfaces of the wing, while those of the southern group, called red-spotted purples, lack that trait as they have evolved to mimic the poisonous pipevine swallowtail (Battus philenor). Due to overlap in distribution among the two major groups, intermediates are numerous as hybridization occurs frequently. Limenitis arthemis is described to be beautiful and highly active. The butterfly species themselves can be divided into two major groups simply from one main characteristic, the white band on the upper wings. However, besides the look of the butterfly, L. arthemis are in constant motion. Their flights are short in duration and at low altitudes, flying only about 2 to 3 feet off the ground. When not in flight, L. arthemis are constantly walking over leaves and folding their wings. They enjoy the sun as many are found to be resting at the highest points on trees. During the short period they are at rest, L. arthemis keep their wings closed, body at a 45 degree angle upwards, and antennae straight forward.
Francis A. Crane Wildlife Management Area, East Falmouth, Massachusetts