Red Admiral - Vanessa atalanta

Scientific Name: Vanessa atalanta (Nymphalidae Nymphalinae).

English Name: Red Admiral (Brush-footed butterflies family,  and Vanessids and Netted Fritillaries sub-family).

French Name: Le Vulcain (='The Vulcan').

5 Key Characters:
  • upperside black with a red band.
  • medium to large sized butterfly (about 60 mm from wing tip to wing tip).
  • fore wing tips have white spots.
  • underside of hindwing is an attractive brown and black marbled pattern.
  • attracted to ripe fruit and ivy flowers in the autumn.

Lookalikes: None.

Habitat: Open areas, open woods and woodland edges, orchards and gardens.

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

Caterpillar: Black with yellow crescents along the sides, very variable in colour and extent of crescents. Eats nettles (Common Nettle Urtica dioica, Lesser Nettle U. urens) and sometimes Eastern Pellitory-of-the-Wall Parietaria officinalis.

Status: Very common, abundant and widely distributed.

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:

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