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White Admiral - Northeastern segregate near ssp. rubrofasciata

chrysalis - Limenitis arthemis White Admiral - Limenitis arthemis Limenitis arthemis Viceroy larva #1 - Limenitis arthemis butterfly - Limenitis arthemis White Admiral Butterfly - Limenitis arthemis Dark butterfly - Limenitis arthemis Butterfly - Limenitis arthemis
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
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 Limenitidinae (Admirals, Sisters)
Tribe Limenitidini (Admirals, Sisters and Sailors)
Genus Limenitis (Admirals & Viceroy)
Species arthemis (White Admiral/Western White Admiral/Red-spotted Purple - Hodges#4522)
No Taxon White Admiral - Northeastern segregate near ssp. rubrofasciata
Minnesota to Massachusetts and northward, mostly in rather "boreal" environments, often where there is Aspen. Division from ssp. rubrofasciata westward is unclear.
adults mostly in June and July
Apparently primarily Trembling Aspen - Populus tremuloides.
There has been resistance to calling these subspecies rubrofasciata, yet they look very much the same. They replace typical subspecies arthemis at high elevation in the northeast U.S. and northward in eastern Canada, and form an eastern end to a continuum of similar looking insects that occurs right across Canada, barely lapping into the U.S. An interpretation that is becoming more and more widely accepted is that these northern insects (east or west) represent the main population of "White Admirals". What we call typical subpsecies arthemis actually represents the intermediates or a cline (= transition) between White Admirals and Red-spotted Purples. They have the white band, but they also have increased bluish/purplish reflective area above, and less orange/red on the hind wing both above and below.
Because of all the confusion and discussion that has occurred to date, the northern types from the east are separated (probably temporarily) here to make the comparisons easier to make. They will perhaps eventually be officially called subspecies rubrofasciata, but alternately may receive their own subspecies name. It is impossible to draw a line between east and west (here, rather arbitrarily it is Ontario and Minnesota east, and Manitoba and North Dakota West). The line to the south is somewhat arbitrary too, since the northern and more southern "types" blend into one another, but generally northern insects with prominent submarginal reddish coloring on the upper hind wing and more extensive orange below are included here. This also emphasizes the point that the transition from White Admiral and Red-spotted Purple involves more features than just the presence or absence of a white band. It starts well into the populations that have white bands, and extends southward well into populations that mostly lack white bands entirely.

Hopefully this will be a helpful arrangement.