Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
Species

Taken at Otmoor, Oxon., on September 11th 2016.
(1/250th sec at f14. Approx 2x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Ab. bialbata. Taken at Otmoor, Oxon., on September 11th 2016.
(1/320th sec at f14. Approx 2x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Underside. Taken at Abingdon, Oxon., on September 26th 2017.
(1/500th sec at f14. Approx 2x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Description

Wing span: 65 - 76 mm

The Red Admiral is primarily a migrant to the British Isles, but some individuals are able to spend the winter here. It can thus be seen at any time of year.

It can be found throughout the British Isles, even reaching Shetland in some years.

Red Admirals can be seen in any type of habitat, including gardens and orchards.

There is a gradual build-up of adults from May onwards. These mate on arrival and give rise to the next generation of adults, which culminate in a peak in the autumn. As the temperature falls, fresh adults change behaviour and start flying south without mating. Large numbers may accumulate on the southern coasts of England and Ireland prior to flying across the Channel. When they arrive in the Mediterranean region, nettle beds have recovered from the dry summer and have fresh, lush leaves that are ideal for breeding. The resulting caterpillars grow slowly during the winter, before pupating and emerging in March or April. The adults immediately begin a northwards migration.

The main larval foodplant is Common Nettle. Hop, Pellitory and Small Nettle are also used.

Adults love to feed on over-ripe fruit. They also feed on flowers such as Buddleia, Michaelmas Daisies, Sedum and Ivy.

Red Admirals spend much of their lives on the move, with periods of cross-country travel interspersed with periods of feeding, basking and egg-laying.

This species is of Least Concern on the UK list.

Sightings

16-Jul-2019 : Ardley Quarry, Oxon (2)
16-Jul-2019 : Bucknell Wood, Northants (3)
11-Jul-2019 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
11-Jul-2019 : Radley Lakes, Oxon (2)
10-Jul-2019 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (6)
08-Jul-2019 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (1)
08-Jul-2019 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
08-Jul-2019 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
07-Jul-2019 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
04-Jul-2019 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1)
04-Jul-2019 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (1)
03-Jul-2019 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
03-Jul-2019 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (1)
30-Jun-2019 : Fence Wood, Berks (2)
29-Jun-2019 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (2)
29-Jun-2019 : Bagley Wood, Oxon (2)
29-Jun-2019 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
28-Jun-2019 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
27-Jun-2019 : Standlake Common, Oxon (5)
18-Jun-2019 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
17-Jun-2019 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
16-Jun-2019 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (1)
15-Jun-2019 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
14-Jun-2019 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
09-Jun-2019 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (2)
02-Jun-2019 : Radley Lakes, Oxon (1)
20-May-2019 : Ardivachar, South Uist (1)
26-Feb-2019 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
14-Feb-2019 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1)

16-Nov-2018 : Extremadura, Spain (1)
15-Nov-2018 : Extremadura, Spain (1)
14-Nov-2018 : Extremadura, Spain (2)
13-Nov-2018 : Extremadura, Spain (2)
20-Oct-2018 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
27-Sep-2018 : Chimney Meadows, Oxon (3)
27-Sep-2018 : Eynsham, Oxon (1)
24-Sep-2018 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (6)
13-Sep-2018 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
04-Sep-2018 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
01-Sep-2018 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
30-Aug-2018 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (2)
25-Aug-2018 : Standlake Common, Oxon (1)
20-Aug-2018 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
18-Aug-2018 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
16-Aug-2018 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (3)
09-Aug-2018 : Sandford Brake, Oxon (1)
06-Aug-2018 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
05-Aug-2018 : Radley Lakes, Oxon (1)
05-Aug-2018 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
26-Jul-2018 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
25-Jul-2018 : Vercors Natural Park, France
23-Jul-2018 : Vercors Natural Park, France
22-Jul-2018 : Vercors Natural Park, France
21-Jul-2018 : Vercors Natural Park, France
20-Jul-2018 : Vercors Natural Park, France
19-Jul-2018 : Vercors Natural Park, France
12-Jul-2018 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1)
12-Jul-2018 : Parsonage Moor, Oxon (1)
07-Jul-2018 : Besselsleigh Wood, Oxon (1)
02-Jul-2018 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (2)
28-Jun-2018 : Myers Allotment, Lancashire (1)
28-Jun-2018 : Foulshaw Moss, Cumbria (1)
28-Jun-2018 : Leighton Moss, Lancashire (2)
21-Jun-2018 : Daneway Banks, Gloucs (1)
20-Jun-2018 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
18-Jun-2018 : Otmoor, Oxon (2)
14-Jun-2018 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (1)
11-Jun-2018 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
08-Jun-2018 : Barnwell Country Park, Northants (1)
06-Jun-2018 : Otmoor, Oxon (2)
03-Jun-2018 : Stockbridge Down, Hants (1f)
02-Jun-2018 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (2)
02-Jun-2018 : Standlake Common, Oxon (1)
28-May-2018 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
01-Jan-2018 : Bagley Wood, Oxon (1)

24-Nov-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
22-Nov-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
21-Nov-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
19-Nov-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (3)
13-Nov-2017 : Highmoor, Oxon (1)
12-Nov-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
10-Nov-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (4)
08-Nov-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
06-Nov-2017 : Highmoor, Oxon (4)
01-Nov-2017 : Standlake Common, Oxon (1)
30-Oct-2017 : Otmoor, Oxon (3)
29-Oct-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
27-Oct-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
26-Oct-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
25-Oct-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
20-Oct-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
15-Oct-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (4)
14-Oct-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
11-Oct-2017 : Holkham NNR, Norfolk (3)
10-Oct-2017 : Titchwell Marsh, Norfolk (2)
10-Oct-2017 : Choseley Barns, Norfolk (1)
09-Oct-2017 : Titchwell Marsh, Norfolk (3)
05-Oct-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
03-Oct-2017 : Otmoor, Oxon (5)
30-Sep-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
28-Sep-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
26-Sep-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (3)
25-Sep-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
24-Sep-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (3)
24-Sep-2017 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (2)
22-Sep-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
20-Sep-2017 : Radipole Lake, Dorset (3)
20-Sep-2017 : Cheyne Weare, Portland, Dorset (20+)
19-Sep-2017 : Portland Bill, Dorset (30+)
19-Sep-2017 : Cheyne Weare, Portland, Dorset (15+)
18-Sep-2017 : Lodmoor, Dorset (3)
17-Sep-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (3)
16-Sep-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
15-Sep-2017 : Shippon, Oxon (1)
15-Sep-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
13-Sep-2017 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (4)
12-Sep-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
11-Sep-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
06-Sep-2017 : Folly Park, Faringdon, Oxon (1)
02-Sep-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
01-Sep-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
31-Aug-2017 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (1)
29-Aug-2017 : Lollingdon Hill, Oxon (1)
28-Aug-2017 : Eynsham, Oxon (1)
27-Aug-2017 : Standlake Common, Oxon (1)
26-Aug-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
26-Aug-2017 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
13-Aug-2017 : West Walton, Norfolk (4+)
11-Aug-2017 : Bucknell Wood, Northants (1)
10-Aug-2017 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (1)
06-Aug-2017 : Parsonage Moor, Oxon (1)
06-Aug-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
06-Aug-2017 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (3)
03-Aug-2017 : Otmoor, Oxon (3)
01-Aug-2017 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (2)
01-Aug-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
30-Jul-2017 : Eynsham, Oxon (1)
29-Jul-2017 : Standlake Common, Oxon (1)
23-Jul-2017 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (3)
23-Jul-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
18-Jul-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
18-Jul-2017 : Fence Wood, Berks (1)
18-Jul-2017 : Greenham Common, Berks (2)
16-Jul-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
08-Jul-2017 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (2)
02-Jul-2017 : Fence Wood, Berks (2)
01-Jul-2017 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (2)
01-Jul-2017 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (2)
24-Jun-2017 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (2)
18-Jun-2017 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (1)
17-Jun-2017 : Standlake Common, Oxon (2)
14-Jun-2017 : Daneway Banks, Gloucs
14-Jun-2017 : Whelford Pools, Glos
11-Jun-2017 : Velebits National Park, Croatia
03-Jun-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
03-Jun-2017 : Abingdon, Oxon (1)
03-Jun-2017 : Barton Fields, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
28-May-2017 : Pewsey Downs NNR, Wilts (1)
27-May-2017 : Bucknell Wood, Northants (3)
14-May-2017 : Whelford Pools, Glos (1)
13-May-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
07-May-2017 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (1)
25-Mar-2017 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)

07-Nov-2016 : Huerta Grande, Spain (1)
07-Nov-2016 : Laja de la Zarga, Spain (1)
06-Nov-2016 : La Janda, Spain (4)
05-Nov-2016 : Playa de Los Lances, Spain (1)
05-Nov-2016 : Trafico, Spain (1)
04-Nov-2016 : Huerta Grande, Spain (3)
03-Nov-2016 : Montejaque, Spain (1)
03-Nov-2016 : Embalse de Montejaque, Spain (2)
02-Nov-2016 : Sierra De Las Nieves, Spain (1)
27-Oct-2016 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (1)
09-Oct-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
09-Oct-2016 : Standlake Common, Oxon (2)
08-Oct-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
02-Oct-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
02-Oct-2016 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (2)
01-Oct-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2+)
24-Sep-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
22-Sep-2016 : Marston Meadows, Oxon (1)
20-Sep-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
18-Sep-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (18+)
18-Sep-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
17-Sep-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
11-Sep-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
11-Sep-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (16+)
04-Sep-2016 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (1)
29-Aug-2016 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (1)
28-Aug-2016 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
21-Aug-2016 : Hackpen Hill, Oxon (1)
06-Aug-2016 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
06-Aug-2016 : Fence Wood, Berks (1)
06-Aug-2016 : Greenham Common, Berks (1)
02-Aug-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
31-Jul-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (5)
30-Jul-2016 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (1)
28-Jul-2016 : Hinksey Park, Oxford, Oxon (2)
23-Jul-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (2)
23-Jul-2016 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (1)
15-Jul-2016 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (1)
14-Jul-2016 : Chazey Heath, Oxon (1)
05-Jun-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
29-May-2016 : Pewsey Downs NNR, Wilts (1)
28-May-2016 : Bucknell Wood, Northants (1)
07-May-2016 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (4)

01-Nov-2015 : Baulking, Oxon (1)
08-Oct-2015 : Oxford, Oxon (1)
19-Sep-2015 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1)
12-Sep-2015 : Radley Lakes, Oxon (1)
07-Sep-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
28-Aug-2015 : St Giles' Churchyard, Oxford (1)
22-Aug-2015 : Yeosden Bank, Bucks (1)
02-Aug-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
30-Jul-2015 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
23-Jul-2015 : Papaz Tchair, Bulgaria
04-Jul-2015 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (1)
03-Jul-2015 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (2)
30-Jun-2015 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
22-Jun-2015 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
18-Jun-2015 : Haddon Hill, Somerset (5)
16-Jun-2015 : Heddon Valley, Devon (1)
16-Jun-2015 : Watersmeet, Devon (1)
15-Jun-2015 : Collard Hill, Somerset (1)
07-Jun-2015 : Goring Railway Bridge, Oxon (1)
06-Jun-2015 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1)
30-May-2015 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (1)