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Species Vanessa atalanta - Red Admiral - Hodges#4437

What type of butterfly - Vanessa atalanta Black spiny caterpillar - Vanessa atalanta Red Admiral Butterfly - Vanessa atalanta Vanessa atalanta Red Admiral - Vanessa atalanta Red Admiral - Vanessa atalanta Red Admiral - Vanessa atalanta Red Admiral - Vanessa atalanta
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Papilionoidea (Butterflies and Skippers)
Family Nymphalidae (Brush-footed Butterflies)
Subfamily Nymphalinae (Crescents, Checkerspots, Anglewings, etc.)
Tribe Nymphalini
Genus Vanessa (Ladies and Red Admiral)
Species atalanta (Red Admiral - Hodges#4437)
Hodges Number
4437
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Vanessa atalanta (Linnaeus, 1758)
Identification
Above, adult is dark brown to black with a broad red band on the hind wings and red stripe diagonally across each forewing; tips of forewings have a pattern of white spots. Below, the leading edge of the forewing is marked with red, white and blue; otherwise mostly mottled grey/brown.


Caterpillar highly variable "ranging from almost white or pale yellow-green to black;usually heavily salted with pale flecking."(1)
Range
Almost cosmopolitan. In North America it was thought that it died out every year after entering the northern part. Nowadays, there is evidence that it travels south, perhaps as far as Mexico. Year round in Mexico and Central America.
Food
Caterpillar feeds on various plants in the Urticaceae family (nettles), also other families, Asteraceae (thistles), Salicaceae and Cannabaceae.
Life Cycle
Overwinters as pupae and adults in the South.

1. Eggs. 2. First instar caterpillars. 3. Later instar caterpillar. 4. Caterpillar in built-up shelter. 5. Chrysalis. 6. Adult
Remarks
Caterpillar makes a larval shelter, either tying up the leaves of a shoot tip, or usually later in the life cycle rolling a leaf.
Print References
Glassberg, et al. (2)
Wagner (1)
Internet References
The Red Admiral and Painted Lady Research Site. Help contribute to scientific knowledge about these butterflies.
Iowa State University - detailed description
Animal Diversity Web - detailed description
Works Cited
1.Caterpillars of Eastern North America
David L. Wagner. 2005. Princeton University Press.
2.Butterflies Through Binoculars: The East
Jeffrey Glassberg. 1999. Oxford University Press.