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Red Admiral

Vanessa atalanta


The characteristic coloration of the Red Admiral Butterfly is a black hindwing with a red-orange marginal band; the dorsal forewing is also black with white markings near the apex. The wing span of the Red Admiral ranges between 1.75 and 3 inches. These butterflies tend to have a brighter coloration and a larger body mass during the summer months than during the winter. The legs and eyes of the Red Admiral tend to be hairy and the head is moderately large.


Red Admirals tend to be found in moist environments such as marshes, woods, fields, and well-watered gardens. These butterflies cannot stand extreme winter cold and are forced to migrate southward during the winter months to warmer climates. During this migration they can be found in habitats ranging from subtropics to tundras. The caterpillars of this species live on the plants they feed on.


This butterfly was spotted near a spring in Macon County, Tn.

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Spotted by

Tennessee, USA

Spotted on Aug 14, 2012
Submitted on Aug 15, 2012

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