Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
Species

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

Underside. Taken at Gait Barrows, Cumbria, on July 28th 2014.
(1/250th 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 listed as Least Concern in the latest Red List of British Butterflies (PDF).
 

Sightings

13-Aug-2017:West Walton, Cambs(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:Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon(3)
06-Aug-2017:Garden, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
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:Garden, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
23-Jul-2017:Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon(3)
18-Jul-2017:Greenham Common, Berks(2)
18-Jul-2017:Fence Wood, Berks(1)
18-Jul-2017:Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
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:Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon(2)
01-Jul-2017:Bernwood Forest, Bucks(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:Abingdon, Oxon(1)
03-Jun-2017:Barton Fields, Abingdon, Oxon(2)
03-Jun-2017:Garden, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
28-May-2017:Pewsey Down, 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:Standlake Common, Oxon(2)
09-Oct-2016:Garden, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
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:Garden, Abingdon, Oxon(2)
18-Sep-2016:Otmoor, Oxon(18+)
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:Greenham Common, Berks(1)
06-Aug-2016:Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
06-Aug-2016:Fence Wood, 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 Down, 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)

06-Dec-2014:Garden, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
18-Nov-2014:Garden, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
09-Nov-2014:Garden, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
01-Nov-2014:Garden, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
31-Oct-2014:Garden, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
28-Oct-2014:Garden, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
27-Oct-2014:University Parks, Oxford, Oxon(4)
05-Oct-2014:Chimney Meadows, Oxon(1)
30-Sep-2014:Garden, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
23-Sep-2014:Garden, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
14-Sep-2014:Otmoor, Oxon(2)
12-Sep-2014:Garden, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
07-Sep-2014:Garden, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
04-Sep-2014:Marston Meadows, Oxon(1)
03-Sep-2014:University Parks, Oxford, Oxon(2)
31-Aug-2014:Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon(3)
31-Aug-2014:Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
28-Aug-2014:Otmoor, Oxon(2)
24-Aug-2014:Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon(1)
24-Aug-2014:Parsonage Moor, Oxon(1)
23-Aug-2014:Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon(1)
20-Aug-2014:University Parks, Oxford, Oxon(1)
17-Aug-2014:Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon(1)
03-Aug-2014:Otmoor, Oxon(1)
03-Aug-2014:Garden, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
02-Aug-2014:Garden, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
29-Jul-2014:Challan Hall, Lancashire(1)
28-Jul-2014:Gait Barrows NNR, Lancashire(1)
20-Jul-2014:Otmoor, Oxon(1)
20-Jul-2014:Finemere Wood, Bucks(2)
12-Jul-2014:Watlington Hill, Oxon(1)
12-Jul-2014:Homefield Wood, Bucks(2)
10-Jul-2014:Marston Meadows, Oxon(2)
06-Jul-2014:Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon(1)
06-Jul-2014:Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon(1)
01-Jul-2014:Bempton Cliffs, E. Yorks(10)
30-Jun-2014:Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit, E. Yorks(2)
30-Jun-2014:Tophill Low, E. Yorks(10)
28-Jun-2014:Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
24-Jun-2014:Papaz Tchair, Bulgaria
24-Jun-2014:nr Novo Hodzhovo, Bulgaria
22-Jun-2014:Roadside, Bulgaria
19-Jun-2014:Koprivshtitsa, Bulgaria
16-Jun-2014:Daneway Banks, Gloucs(1)
15-Jun-2014:Bernwood Forest, Bucks(1)
14-Jun-2014:Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon(1)
07-Jun-2014:Stanford Dingley, Berks(1)
05-Jun-2014:University Parks, Oxford, Oxon(1)
01-Jun-2014:Lardon Chase, Berks(1)
25-May-2014:Otmoor, Oxon(3)

22-Oct-2013:Garden, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
19-Oct-2013:Garden, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
29-Aug-2013:University Parks, Oxford, Oxon(1)
18-Aug-2013:Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon(1)
04-Aug-2013:Greenham Common, Berks(1)
28-Jul-2013:Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon(1)
27-Jul-2013:Garden, Abingdon, Oxon(2)
24-Jul-2013:Homefield Wood, Bucks(5)
23-Jul-2013:Garden, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
21-Jul-2013:Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon(3)
14-Jul-2013:Cothill Fen, Oxon(1)
13-Jul-2013:Garden, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
07-Jul-2013:Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon(1)
30-Jun-2013:Bernwood Forest, Bucks(2)
30-Jun-2013:Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon(1)
26-Jun-2013:Hickling Broad, Norfolk(2)
25-Jun-2013:Wayford Bridge, Norfolk(1)
25-Jun-2013:Hickling Broad, Norfolk(4)
20-Apr-2013:Garden, Abingdon, Oxon(1)
06-Apr-2013:Northcourt Road, Abingdon, Oxon(1)