Red admiral butterfly
A very attractive red and black butterfly that is a common visitor to garden flowers.
Red admirals are mostly black with red bands on the upper wings and red borders on the bottom half of the lower wings. The upper wings have a pattern of white markings near the tips. Red colouration varies from dark red to orange red.
The caterpillars vary in colour from black to greenish-grey with a yellow line along each side. The upper surface is covered with a row of spines.
They are widespread in Europe, North America, North Africa and Asia.
Red admirals are found from sea level up to 2,000m in woodlands, orchards and gardens.
Caterpillars feed on nettle, spinning leaves together to make a tent-like shelter. The adults feed from flowers such as buddleia and also from rotting fruit.
Though normally a day-flying butterfly, red admirals have been known to fly at night.
Red admirals are not listed as endangered on IUCN Red List 2000.