Red Admiral

Vanessa atalanta


HOME

Vanessa atalanta

Switzerland, May 2013

Vanessa atalanta

Switzerland, February 2012

Vanessa atalanta

Suffolk, UK, August 2011

Vanessa atalanta

Switzerland, August 2012

Vanessa atalanta

Switzerland, October 2011

Vanessa atalanta

Group on rotting fruit, Switzerland, October 2011

Switzerland, September 2005

Switzerland, September 2005

Switzerland, January 2007

Switzerland, January 2007

Female, ovipositing on nettle, Gibraltar, February 2007

(video frame)

October 2005

The red admiral is a familiar summer visitor to gardens all over Europe and often the last butterfly to be seen in the autumn. In my garden in England it hangs around long rotten plums well into October or even November and here in Switzerland it is still cruising around in the same months, usually making large circuits of a shared territory (I spent an afternoon watching what I thought was one going round in great circles but which turned out to be several, all following each other). Sadly, although this late activity seems to be related to hibernation - getting suitably nourished and picking the right spot - red admirals do not generally survive the winter except in southern climes. Most central/northern European populations are boosted by migrants every summer, generally beginning in May. In Switzerland I had never seen them in the post-hibernation period until 2007, when they flew throughout the winter. In England have only rarely seen spring individuals, but again, in 2007 they have been seen widely in southern England all winter. As I write (11th March 2007), this is proving a remarkable year for early butterflies - I have already seen 8 species of butterfly in Switzerland.