Red Admiral Butterfly

The Red Admiral Butterfly (Vanessa atalanta) is a medium-sized butterfly.

The Red Admiral Butterfly has black wings with orange bands and white spots. Its underside is beige. Its body is light-brown and furry.

Red Admiral Butterfly

Its wingspan is about 5 centimetres (2 inches). 

It is native to North Africa, the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean. It prefers moist woodlands in temperate climates. It migrates in spring. 

It is diurnal, active during the day. 

The adult butterfly sips nectar from flowers. It prefers purple, blue, and yellow flowers. It has a proboscis—like a long nose—which it uses to suck up the nectar from flowers.

Its main predators are birds. 

The adult female butterfly lays eggs on plants. She lays them singly on the leaves of a plant. Caterpillars (larvae) emerge from the eggs after about 7 days and begin eating the plant leaves. They pupate into casings (called a chrysalis), and undergo metamorphosis until they emerge as adult butterflies. 

The Red Admiral Butterfly lives for about 21 days.

Red Admiral Butterfly
Red Admiral Butterfly
Red Admiral Butterfly
Red Admiral Butterfly

[Location of photographs: Paris, France]

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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