Red Admiral / Vanessa atalanta / أدميرال أحمر

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Status: Common

This medium-sized colourful butterfly is a migrant species and occurs in the Holoarctic region. It is a rare species in Jordan although may sometimes be observed in the Jordan valley, and is mostly recorded in the northern Mediterranean region. It is found in most parts of Palestine except for the Negev region. This butterfly is seen to commonly inhabit areas with flowering plants and overripe fruits and therefore mostly spotted in gardens, alongside streams and agricultural fields.

The adult butterflies are very quick fliers and the males show territorial behaviour, and thereby seen several times in the same location over a period of time or several days. This behaviour of the males also helps them to find their mates during the breeding season.

It flies from March to November and are known to be most active during the spring and autumn seasons. The adults are known to hibernate all throughout the winter months. This butterfly is very striking in its look due to the dark brown, red and black colour pattern on its wings. The upper side of fore- and hindwings have orange coloured bands, with white spots only on the upper side of the forewings.

The winter form of this butterfly species is smaller and comparatively duller in colour than the summer form. This butterfly has two generations in a year. The females lay eggs singly on the tip of the host plant leaves. The larvae feed on plants of the nettles family Urticaceae, Urtica sp. and Parietaria sp.

Cool Facts: The Red Admiral lays eggs where it cannot survive and this is the very reason for its migration behaviour !!

Conservation Status: Least Concern