Limenitis arthemis astyanax
Red-spotted Purple flies in south-western Ontario from Mid-June to the first week of September, with 2 generations, and sometimes a partial 3rd generation. Slightly varied, some have red spots along the front wing edge, but these spots can fade.
Some have slightly pointed hind wings, with or without a red spot on inner edge of the hind wings (anal angle), and closely resemble sub-species proserpina from s. w. U.S. Genetic studies have proved the two are sister species, but neither is that closely related to the White Admiral.
Apparently southern Ontario is a hybridization zone for interbreeding between the Red-spotted Purple and the White Admiral Limenitis arthemis, but the White Admiral doesn’t fly south of the London/ Hamilton corridor. Other hybrid zones are in New England, and Kentucky/Tennessee.
Red-spotted Purple are also supposed to be mimics of the Pipevine Swallowtail Battus philenor, but other than occasional migrating strays at Point Pelee and a few strays near Toronto, it doesn’t fly here either. Recent research is beginning to question the Batesian mimicry.
Red-spotted Purple feed on a great variety of flowers, contrary to some reports: Butterfly Bush, Hoptree, Virgin’s Bower, Queen Anne’s Lace, Boneset, Sweet William and Blazing Star. Like the Viceroy, they also enjoy rotting fruit like apples and watermelon. Caterpillars are almost identical to the Viceroy Limenitis archippus and feed on cherry, hawthorn, apple, serviceberry, beech and farther north also on birch.