- Papilio atalanta Linnaeus, 1758
No status defined
Value of species
Pollinator species; Ornamental species
Vanessa (Vanessa) atalanta (Linnaeus, 1758) Western Ukraine, IV-V, VI-IX(2) (Канарський, 2007).
The red admiral is widely distributed across temperate regions of North Africa, the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, and New Zealand. It resides in warmer areas, but migrates north in spring and sometimes again in autumn. Typically found in moist woodlands, the red admiral caterpillar's primary host plant is the stinging nettle (Urtica dioica); it can also be found on the false nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica). The adult butterfly drinks from flowering plants like Buddleia and overripe fruit. Red admirals are territorial; females will only mate with males that hold territory. Males with superior flight abilities are more likely to successfully court females.
The red admiral is found in temperate regions of North Africa, North and Central America, Europe, Asia, and island regions of Hawaii, the Caribbean, and New Zealand.
In northern Europe, it is one of the last butterflies to be seen before winter sets in, often feeding on the flowers of ivy on sunny days. The red admiral is also known to hibernate, re-emerging individuals showing prominently darker colors than the first brood. The butterfly also flies on sunny winter days, especially in southern Europe.
In North America, the red admiral generally has two broods from March through October. Most of North America must be recolonized each spring by southern migrants, but the species over winters in south Texas.