Red Admiral Butterfly

We have seen lots of the Red Admiral Butterflies in our orchard in the last few weeks (August/September 2019).

This post was originally published on (4th August 2007) and updated on (13th September 2019).

Latin Name: Vanessa Atalanta 

Description:  The Red Admiral is a brightly coloured butterfly with red bands and white spots on a black wing.

Size: The wingspan of the Red Admiral is approximately 60-70mm.

Habitat: The Red Admiral lives in gardens, hedgerows, orchards, woodlands and meadows.


Food: They eat nectar, fermenting fruit such as apples, plums and pears, brambles, buddleia and nettles.

Distribution: The Red Admiral can be found throughout the UK.

Months Seen: This butterfly can be seen between May and October.

Did You Know?

  • Females lay one egg at a time leaving up to a dozen under nettle leaves.
  • Red Admiral butterflies migrate from Southern Europe and Northern Africa.
  • The Red Admiral caterpillar is yellowish brown to black with a row of yellow spots on each side. It has short black spines and has white speckles on it.
  • Red Admirals will migrate South in the summer.
  • These butterflies can spend Winter as sleeping adults but in order to survive they need a warmer climate.

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