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.
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: