Family: NYMPHALIDAE (Brushfooted Butterflies)
A common, widespread species, the Red Admiral has wingspan of 2 - 2 5/8 inches. Upper sides are black with white spots and red-orange banding. Caterpillars are variable in color, ranging from black to greenish-yellow with black stripes.
Range and Habitat
Red Admirals prefer areas where water is nearby, such as streambeds, seeps, marshy areas, as well as coastal sage scrub and chaparral. Their range extends throughout the U.S. and Europe.
Red Admirals depend on stinging nettles, in the family Urticaceae, as their host plant. The caterpillars make hibernacula by folding leaves and sewing them closed with silk. Chrysalises are brown and resemble dried leaves. Red Admirals overwinter as adults; adults frequently land on people and seem to prefer white t-shirts.
Related or Similar Species
Nymphalidae: Brushfooted Butterflies