Red Admiral Butterfly

Red Admiral Butterfly Coloration, Characteristics and Size

The Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) features a black forewing with white spots at the tip, and a bank of bright red-orange on the trailing edges.

It is friendly to humans, but will challenge other butterflies, birds and mammals. They are territorial and highly agressive.

The wingspan of the Red Admiral is in the 1.8" - 2.5" range.

Distribution and Habitat of the Red Admiral

The Red Admiral is found throughout all the United States, southern Canada and all of Mexico. They prefer shrubby fields, marshes, streamsides, clearings and urban landscapes.

Host Plants Used by the Red Admiral

Hosts used by the Red Admiral include nettle, false nettle, pellitory and related plants.

Red Admiral Butterfly Life Cycle Stages and Times

Stage Typical Duration
Egg stage 4 to 14 days
Caterpillar (larval) stage 2 to 4 weeks
Chrysalis (pupal) stage 7 to 14 days
Adult butterfly stage 6 to 20 days

 

Photos of Red Admiral Butterflies

Red Admiral Butterfly (dorsal view)
Red Admiral Butterfly (wings open)

Red Admiral Butterfly (wings open)
Red Admiral Butterfly (wings open)

Red Admiral Butterfly (ventral view)
Red Admiral Butterfly in Texas (wings closed)