Red Admiral – Vanessa atalanta

imageimageThe Red Admiral butterfly’s irregular flight pattern may have started the nickname ‘flutter-by’s’.

Males like to perch high in plants waiting for a female to lay eggs on the preferred host plants.
Red Admiral catapillars like plants in the nettle family: (Urticaceae) including stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), tall wild nettle (Urtica gracilis), wood nettle (Laportea canadensis), false nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica), pellitory (Parietoria pennsylvanica), mamaki (Pipturus albidus).

Adult Red Admirals prefer sap found on trees, fermenting fruit, and bird droppings! Yuk!! They only visit flowers (milkweed, red clover, aster, and alfalfa) when the former are not available.
Most Red Admirals can be found in most places in North America; however they prefer a moister area to dry.


© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

12 thoughts on “Red Admiral – Vanessa atalanta

  1. I saw Red Ads early in the spring and have not seen any of late. I don’t have any buddleia this year but I see them sometimes around the rotting figs or native plums later on. These are nice pics and good that you showed both sides for its wing pattern and coloration.


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