white admiral

(Limenitis arthemis arthemis)

Conservation Status
white admiral
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

S5 - Secure

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

White admiral is a large brush-footed butterfly with a 3 to 3½ wingspan. The male and female are identical in appearance but the female is slightly larger than the male.

The upperside of both wings is dark bluish-black with a broad, white, postmedial band. The forewing is rounded at the tip. It has a few white spots near the apex and a row of light blue, crescent-shaped, marginal spots. The hindwing has a row of reddish-orange submarginal spots and two rows of light blue, crescent-shaped, marginal spots.

The underside of both wings is dark brown with the white band, submarginal spots, and subapical spots carried through from the upperside. Both wings also have orangish-red and blue spots near the leading edge and two rows of light blue, crescent-shaped, marginal spots.

The caterpillar is up to 2 long. It is a bird dropping mimic. The thorax and abdomen are mottled medium and dark olive green. A pair of long, black, spiny, branched projections (scoli) extend over the head from a hump on the second thoracic segment. There is a pair of large, greenish-yellow humps on the on the upper (dorsal) side of the second abdominal segment. Each hump is tipped with a small cluster of short white spines. There are similar, smaller humps on the seventh and eighth abdominal segments. A white subspiracular stripe extends from the second to the last abdominal segment. A white “saddle” on the dorsal surface from the fourth through sixth abdominal segments extends down the sides near the middle and merges with the subspiracular stripe. The head is brown and has a pair of short, brown scoli. The prolegs are brown.

Mature caterpillars are found from late May onward.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

3 to 3½ wingspan

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
  No similar species  
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Forest edges and openings of deciduous broad-leaf forests and or mixed evergreen forests dominated by aspen or birch; roadsides, trails.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Two broods: Late May to August; and a partial generation August to early September

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

Adult butterflies are often seen sunning themselves on gravel roads.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

In the fall the third stage caterpillar of the second brood forms a shelter (hibernaculum) by rolling a leaf and tying it with silk. It overwinters in the hibernaculum.

The range of this subspecies overlaps that of the red-spotted purple in the lower third of the state. Where the ranges overlap the subspecies interbreed and produce offspring with intergrading characteristics.

 
     
 

Larva Hosts

 
 

Usually leaves of birch, willow, quaking aspen, and chokecherry, but also American basswood, plains cottonwood, hawthorn, oak, serviceberry, and other trees.

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Sap flows, rotting fruit, aphid honeydew, carrion, dung; rarely flower nectar.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 20, 21, 24, 29, 71.

 
  4/4/2018      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)  
 

Suborder

Glossata  
 

Infraorder

Neolepidoptera  
  Parvorder Heteroneura  
  No Rank Ditrysia  
  No Rank Obtectomera  
 

Superfamily

Papilionoidea (butterflies [excluding skippers])  
 

Family

Nymphalidae (brush-foots)  
 

Subfamily

Limenitidinae (admirals and relatives)  
 

Tribe

Limenitidini  
  Subtribe Limenitidina (admirals)  
 

Genus

Limenitis  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

white admiral

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Hibernaculum

A structure where an animal or insect hibernates in the winter.

 

Proleg

A fleshy structure on the abdomen of some insect larvae that functions as a leg, but lacks the five segments of a true insect leg.

 

Pupa

The life stage of some insects undergoing transformation. In caterpillars, the chrysalis.

 

Scolus

A spiny, branched projection from a larval body wall, the branches terminating with a single stiff, hair-like or bristle-like tip.

 

Seta

A usually rigid bristle- or hair-like structure on butterflies and moths used to sense touch. Plural: setae.

 

Spiracle

A small opening on the surface of an insect through which the insect breathes.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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Bill Reynolds

 
    white admiral      
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
    white admiral   white admiral  
           
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Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
White Admiral
DianesDigitals
  White Admiral  
 
About

Copyright DianesDigitals

 
White Admiral Butterfly
Andree Reno Sanborn
  White Admiral Butterfly  
White Admiral or Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis)
tomb0171
   
 
About

Uploaded on Feb 18, 2011

White Admiral or Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis)

* Family: Nymphalidae,
* Subfamily: Limenitidinae,
* Genus: Limenitis,
* Species: L. arthemis,
* Phylum: Arthropoda,
* Class: Insecta,
* Order: Lepidoptera,
* Type: Bugs,
* Diet: Omnivore,
* Average life span in the wild: Several weeks to several years,
* Size: wingspan measures 5.3 to 7.3 cm (2.1 to 2.9 in).
* Weight: no data,

** The Red-spotted Purple is a mimic of the poisonous Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor) and is typically found in open woodlands and along forest edges.

More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limenitis_arthemis

 
     

 

slideshow

       
 
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Other Videos
 
  White Admiral (Limenitis arthemis)
TheChannelOfAnimals
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 12, 2013

In this video, a white admiral (Limenitis arthemis arthemis) is shown moving from flower to flower in a long meadow. This video was recorded on July 3, 2013 just within the White Mountain National Forest of New Hampshire.

 
  White Admiral Butterfly (Nymphalidae: Limenitis arthemis) on Walkway
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jul 3, 2011

Photographed at Nisswa, Minnesota (01 July 2010).

 
  White Admiral (Nymphalidae: Limenitis arthemis) on Leaf
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Aug 7, 2010

Photographed at Itasca State Park, Minnesota (06 August 2010).

 
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

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  Michelle Strand
6/11/2020

Location: Crystal MN

Landed on my bench on my deck.

   
  Chris Walker
6/17/2017

Location: Tamarac

I grew up in  lower Michigan, where we don’t have white admirals, but knew Weidemeyer's admiral from working in New Mexico -- so at first glance I thought it was Weidemeyer's admiral, and thought “how big is their range?!?!” But I’m better now, lol...

 
           
 
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