Predominantly Black Butterflies

Where required, photos and information have been reproduced with the kind permission of Butterfly Conservation.

In each section, the MALE is shown as the top line photograh(s)...photos of the FEMALE are shown on the second line.


White Admiral

  JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Adult                         
Larva                        

White Admiral - Photograph by Jim Asher    White Admiral - Photograph by Jim Asher

Widespread in southern England, extending just into Wales and northwards. White-banded black wings and a flight of short periods of wing beats, followed by long glides. It could be confused with the larger Purple Emperor.

Resident

Population declining.

The White Admiral is a spectacular woodland butterfly, with white-banded black wings and a distinctive delicate flight: short periods of wing beats, followed by long glides. Adults are often found nectaring on Bramble flowers in rides and clearings. It is a fairly shade-tolerant butterfly, flying in dappled sunlight to lay eggs on Honeysuckle.

The White Admiral occurs widely in southern Britain and has spread rapidly since the 1920s, after an earlier contraction. However, population monitoring has shown a dramatic decline in the last 20 years for reasons that are as yet unclear.

Conservation status

European/world range

Across central Europe from northern Spain to Turkey and as far north as Latvia, but absent from Scandinavia. Extends throughout Asia as far east as Japan. European range appears to be expanding northwards, but there have been declines in several countries.

Foodplants

The sole foodplant is Honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum), usually in shady positions.

Habitat

The butterfly uses shady woodland and ride edges, often associated with neglected or mature woodland where there are sunny glades with large patches of Bramble to provide nectar for the adults. It is found in both deciduous and mixed deciduous/coniferous woodland.

*****************************************************************************************************

*****************************************************************************************************