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Vanessa atalanta, Red Admiral

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Freshly emerged male

Final instar larva


Description: 23-29 mm. Dorsally they are dark brown with bright red band on forwing and one on the hind wing. There is a series of white spots on the forewing. Ventral side has a red band and a blue patch on the forewing but mottled gray and brown on the hindwing. Sexes are similar.


Habitat and Distribution: Most of North America. This species can be common in Florida. It has been recorded from Key Largo, Big Pine Key, Key West, Vaca Key and Stock Island. They stay close to wooded areas.


Host Plant: False Nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica)


Natural History: This is a common species but is rarely encountered in the Keys. They are strong and fast in flight but often perch and males protect a territory as they await females. 


Freshly emerged male

Freshly emerged male

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