Photo by Melody

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

Order: Lepidoptera (le-pid-OP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Nymphalidae (nim-FAL-ih-dee) (Info)
Genus: Vanessa
Species: atalanta


4 positives
No neutrals
No negatives


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Barling, Arkansas
Canoga Park, California
San Francisco, California
Bear, Delaware
Lutz, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Algonquin, Illinois
Divernon, Illinois
La Grange Park, Illinois
Princeton, Illinois
Westchester, Illinois
Coatesville, Indiana
Greenwood, Indiana
Atalissa, Iowa
Yale, Iowa
Irvine, Kentucky
La Place, Louisiana
Brockton, Massachusetts
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Royal Oak, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Tupelo, Mississippi
Wiggins, Mississippi
Lincoln, Nebraska
Hudson, New Hampshire
Marlton, New Jersey
Lockport, New York
Cary, North Carolina
Concord, North Carolina
Cincinnati, Ohio (3 reports)
Glouster, Ohio
Newark, Ohio
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Roland, Oklahoma
Stilwell, Oklahoma
Alexandria, Pennsylvania
Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Arlington, Texas
Brenham, Texas
Cleburne, Texas
Edinburg, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas (2 reports)
Houston, Texas
Irving, Texas
Portland, Texas
San Isidro, Texas
Altoona, Wisconsin

By kennedyh
Thumbnail #1 of Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) by kennedyh

By kennedyh

Thumbnail #2 of Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) by kennedyh

By wallaby1

Thumbnail #3 of Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) by wallaby1

By wallaby1

Thumbnail #4 of Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) by wallaby1

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Thumbnail #5 of Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) by wallaby1

By kropit

Thumbnail #6 of Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) by kropit

By kropit

Thumbnail #7 of Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) by kropit

There are a total of 49 photos.
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Member Notes:

Positive Malus2006 On Jan 23, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN
(Zone 4a) wrote:

A species that tend to be single and constantly searching when favorite flowers are not common or habitation is unsuited. When there are large amounts of "butterfly flowers" in large open sunny location as in public gardens, large amount of Red Admirals will gather and stays nearby. They tend to fight frequently or try to mate with each other, even chasing other butterflies species away. May have repeating lifecycles in one year. Birds loves them even thought they are fast flying. Compare to some other species they are moderately slow and tend to flies in open spaces and try to depend on their agility to outwit birds. Old individuals may bear the scars of near misses and have fading colors. Those must be the most experienced ones as they will live for a long time, nearly one month or two in adult form. Males often gather on large amounts of butterfly flowers like for example a group of 3 or 4 butterfly bush that is pruned daily to continue flowering, defending their territory for females who may be attracted to the flowers. I have found dead ones, most likely exhausted from all the competitions. Females tend to be the wandering sort, looking for host plants to lay their eggs on. Adults come out Early to Late Summer with the first or second batch the most common untill birds reduce their numbers.
I gather this from observation from a seasonal job summer of 2007 on a rich person's butterfly garden. I also see them in my yard but single and never stay for very long.

Positive aggscott On May 8, 2008, aggscott from Wilkes Barre, PA
(Zone 6a) wrote:

The Red Admiral was one of the first butterflies in my area last year and would fight and chase the other butterflies off the flowers. I raised a few on Nettle and found that they are great to raise, easy as long as the Nettle your using isn't stinging Nettle!

Positive tabasco On Jun 29, 2009, tabasco from Cincinnati (Anderson Twp), OH
(Zone 6a) wrote:

We make rotten fruit 'bait stations' to try to lure this pretty butterfly to our yard, and we offer many kinds of butterfly nectar flowers and mud puddles for the Red Admirals too. They are quite attractive visitors and often show up in large numbers in some years.

We have stinging nettles, wood nettles and pellitory on our property to serve as host plants, but until recent years it was thought that the Red Admiral was a migrant to Ohio and unable to survive Ohio winters. Now there is some evidence to support resident populations here. (Ohio DNR 'Butterflies and Skippers of Ohio', p. 43.)

Positive themikesmom On Mar 14, 2013, themikesmom wrote:

Very lovely butterfly, we dont get these too often, but when we do, they seem to love purple flowers, particularly my son's purple butterfly bush, and our laura phlox in the front yard.

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