Red Admiral

Vanessa atalanta

The Red Admiral is a common, large butterfly species with very distinctive markings.

The undersides of its wings are more dull in colour, camouflaging it to protect it from predators.

It is migratory, with adults flying from mainland Europe and North Africa. These migratory adult females lay eggs when they reach the UK, causing an emergence of more adult butterflies in summer.

It can be seen in a range of different environments in most months of the year if the weather is warm enough, and its caterpillars can be found on nettles.

Look out for them on rotting fruit – they’re quite partial to it!

Look out for them all over the Botanic Garden, but see if you can spot them on the flowering ivy around the walls of the Double Walled Garden in October.