Red Admiral (Simon Colenutt)
Tuesday, 25 September 2012
The red admiral is one of my favourite butterflies and is a familiar site feeding at ivy blossom, buddleja, blackberries and windfallen fruit in the autumn. The species is familiar throughout the UK and can be found in inner city areas where buddleja is a favoured foodplant. The red admiral occurs throught the USA, Europe, North Africa and as far east as Iran. Some populations are strongly migratory and influxes into the UK are thought to originate in Europe or as far south as North Africa. While the species overwinters in small numbers in the UK in the spring numbers are bolstered by early immigrants. However, numbers reach their peak in the autumn after successful breeding during the summer months and additional waves of immigration. A recent walk in Kenidjack Valley to the east of St. Just produced over 75 feeding on ivy blossom and while many of these may have emerged in the UK it is probable that many were fresh immigrants from swollen European populations.