Species of the Month October 2020


Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta


The Red Admiral is a large (67-72mm wingspan) and easily recognisable butterfly with striking and dramatic colours. The species is velvety black with broad red stripes on the hindwings and forewings, and white spots near the tips of the forewings. The underside is mottled blue, brown and black, with a pale blotch on the top edge of the hindwing. You can view the Welsh distribution on Aderyn here.

The adult butterflies are primarily migrants from North Africa and southern Europe flying over each spring and summer; although some adults may overwinter (hibernate) in the south of England too. This red, black and white butterfly can often be seen feeding on flowers on warm days well into the winter months, so can still be spotted in the cooler days of October.

If you spot Red Admiral during October (or at any other time of year), please send us the record, ideally via our Species of the Month form on SEWBReCORD (nb. you will need to be signed into SEWBReCORD to use this link). Instructions on how to submit records are available here.

*COVID 19 note: Please carry out your wildlife recording, including Species of the Month, in a safe and socially distant manner.*