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  • Red-spotted Purple Admiral - (Limenitis arthemis)

    Red-spotted Purple Admiral - (Limenitis arthemis)

    The large size and vibrant blue on the wings of the Red-spotted Purple Admiral butterfly may be more than just pretty features.




    Staff Writer (7/22/2016): Though the Red-spotted Purple Admiral lacks the tails of the Pipevine Swallowtail, it resembles it enough in size and coloring to possibly benefit from mimicry. The Pipevine deters predators from eating it by tasting awful. Though some Pipevines are killed in teaching animals this lesson, many others are spared once animals learn to avoid them. The Red-spotted Purple Admiral may see predator avoidance because they look so much like the distasteful Pipevine. Research shows that they sometimes breed with Viceroy butterflies.

    Look for Red-spotted Purple Admiral butterflies from spring through autumn. Adult butterflies drink nectar from flowers, water from puddles, tree sap and juices from rotting fruits. They are likely to be found on or near host plants for their caterpillars. Caterpillars eat the leaves of willow trees as well as poplar, cottonwood, deerberry and black cherry. White eggs resembling tiny spiky golf balls are laid at the edges of leaves and the caterpillars eat away at the soft parts of the leaf once they hatch. The caterpillar resembles bird droppings. It is white and green with two yellow bumps near the head and two smaller yellow humps near its rear. When ready to pupate, it uses feces to attach its cocoon to rib of a chewed leaf. Depending on the latitude, Red-spotted Purple Admirals can produce two to three broods a year.

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    Details of the:
    Red-spotted Purple Admiral


    Category: Butterfly or Moth
    Common name: Red-spotted Purple Admiral
    Scientific Name: Limenitis arthemis

    Taxonomy:
      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Lepidoptera
          Family: Nymphalidae
           Genus: Limenitis
            Species: arthemis





    Size (Adult, Length): 75mm to 100mm (2.95in to 3.94in)

    Identifying Colors: blue, black, purple, orange, red, white, yellow

    Additional Descriptors: flying, spots, pipevine, willow,


    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Arizona; Arkansas; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Nebraska; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin


    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.





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