White Admiral (Limenitis arthemis arthemis)

White Admiral (Limenitis arthemis)

Top side of the White Admiral

The White Admiral (Limenitis arthemis arthemis) is an insect in the Nymphalidae family (Brush-footed Butterflies) and Lepidotera (Butterflies and Moths) order. The family name refers to nymphs, minor Greek goddesses. The genus name is from the Latin and Greek for "harbor goddess." The species name refers to the Greek god, Artemis, goddess of the hunt and also known as the harbor goddess. This common butterfly is found in deciduous and mixed deciduous/evergreen forests near water throughout North America north of Pennsylvania  from June to early August. Therefore, White Admirals are found in the area of French Hill Pond.

The wingspan of this butterfly is about 3½ inches (9 centimeters). The wings are predominantly black but may fade to a brownish color on old or deceased specimens  as the photographs on this page show. All White Admirals have a prominent white, semicircular band on the wings interrupted by narrow, black veins from the center of one forewing edge to the center of the opposite forewing edge on both the top and bottom of the wings. Red and blue spots may be present near the rear margins of the wing tops. The red spots are more prominent on the underside. The wings may appear iridescent.

The caterpillar is white with brown patches. It eats the foliage of deciduous trees/shrubs like birches, willows, poplars and hawthorns. The adult butterfly sips nectar and sap.


White Admiral (Limenitis arthemis)

Bottom side of the White Admiral

Other varieties of this butterfly (Limenitis arthemis astyanax and Limenitis arthemis arizonansis) are not usually found in the area of French Hill Pond.

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