The Red-Spotted Purple Butterfly is commonly seen throughout most of the wooded areas in the United States.  The butterfly is most prevalent along the United States east coast and is found as far west as the Rocky Mountains.  There is also some evidence of the Red-Spotted Purple butterfly in more southern areas such as Texas and northern Mexico.   They are also common in some Canadian areas, particularly Ontario (Wright, 1993)

Within these wooded regions, the Red-Spotted Purple Butterfly prefers to be in shady spots.  It can commonly be found along the edges of wooded areas and in low valleys.  It rests upon damp fallen logs and on stones.  The Red-Spotted Purple Butterfly is also attracted to rocky areas and is known to flutter alongside gravel roads and rocky paths.  Spending time close to the ground can be deadly for the Red-Spotted Purple butterfly, as they can become road kill or be accidentally stepped on. This butterfly rarely stops to rest on flowers and prefers to be low to the ground where dung and rotten fruit are found (see Nutrition) (Ebner,1970) .

Many other organisms also live in this habitat.  Important predators of the Red-Spotted Purple Butterfly eggs are tiny parasites, ants and spiders (Weed, 1926).  Eggs are commonly attacked or eaten by these organisms (Weed, 1926).

The map above illustrates the presence of the Red-Spotted Purple Butterfly in North America. The states colored green have the highest concentration of Red-Spotted Purple Butterflies (Encyclopedia of Life).


Presence in Wisconsin
The Red-Spotted Purple Butterfly is only found in the southern half of Wisconsin and most common in Waukesha County (Ebner, 100).

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