Southern White Admiral - Limenitis reducta



Scientific Name: Limenitis reducta.

English Name: Southern White Admiral.

French Name: Le Sylvain azuré (='the blue woodlander')

5 Key Characters:
  • upperside black with steely blue irridescence.
  • underside purply brown, somewhat metallic.
  • row of black dots towards the edge of the hindwing.
  • pure powdery white spots on both sides of all wings.
  • large (forewing 23 - 31 mm long).
Lookalikes: White Admiral L. camilla and Great Banded Grayling Brintesia circe, which are dark brown, not blue black. The summer form Map Araschnia levana, which is much smaller.

Habitat: Sunny hedges and woodland fringes, overgrown slopes and open woodland. Much more attracted to flowers than other Limenitis spp.

Flight Period: April-May-June-July-August-September-October.

Caterpillar: Large and green with brown 'spikes', July to May, overwintering as a caterpillar.

Host Plant: Honeysuckles (Etruscan Honeysuckle Lonicera etrusca, Common Honeysuckle L. periclymenum, Italian Honeysuckle L. caprifolium, Fly Honeysuckle L. xylosteum).

Status: This is a southern species. In the Touraine Loire Valley and Brenne it is localised and can be  common along woodland rides in early summer.

References and Further Reading:
Les Papillons de jour de France, Belgique et Luxembourg et leurs chenilles by Tristan Lafranchis. This is one of the Parthenope Collection of field guides published by Biotope. Each species gets a page covering distribution, lifecycle, description and photos, plus there are keys and general information about observing butterflies.

A post on the species in our daily blog Days on the Claise, showing the butterfly on Honeysuckle in our neighbours' garden.

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:

All photos will enlarge in a new window if you click on them. Row 1 Left on Honeysuckle in our neighbours' garden. Centre & right on a wooded farm track in the Brenne, May. Row 2 - 3 on a wooded farm track in the Brenne, May.

Nectaring on Wild Oregano Origanum vulgare.
Nectaring on Wild Oregano Origanum vulgare.
Nectaring on Wild Oregano Origanum vulgare.
Nectaring on Wild Oregano Origanum vulgare.


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