Red Admiral
  Vanessa atalanta
 


Photograph by Bill Slater


DESCRIPTION

A familiar migrant butterfly, which is easily recognisable with its orange-red bands on a black-brown background. Adults often seen on buddleia flowers.

Wingspan 64 - 72 mm (male), 70 -78 mm (female).

LIFE CYCLE

Considerable numbers arrive in late May and June, and their offspring may be seen in August, September (and into October in a good year). However, immigration can continue throughout the summer months.

Ova are laid on nettle, hatching after 5-10 days. Larval stage lasts 3 - 4 weeks. Pupae are suspended on a silken pad among spun leaves. Emergence takes place just over a fortnight. Does not survive winters in the north - numbers replenished each year by migration.

FLIGHT TIMES

May be seen from late May to early October.

REGIONAL DISTRIBUTION

Occurs throughout the mainland area, the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland.

LINKS