Red Admiral Butterfly
The upperside of the wings of red admiral butterflies (Vanessa atalanta) are black with white spots near the apex. The forewings have a red median band, while the hindwings have a red band along the margins. The adult wingspan measures one and quarter to three inches.
Typical habitat includes moist areas such as yards, parks, marshes, drainage spots, and moist fields.Males will sit on top of ridges in the afternoon waiting for female red admirals to appear. They are territorial. Different males regularly hold the same territory from day to day and even from year to year. Females lay their eggs on the top of host plant leaves. Young caterpillars spend all of their time inside the folded leaves of plants such as hops and several nettle species. Older caterpillars use silk to tie leaves together to make a nest.
Upon maturity, adult red admirals will feed on tree sap, rotting fruit, bird waste. Only if these food sources are unavailable do they feed off of milkweed, clover, asters, and alfalfa. Adult red admirals hibernate.
Red admiral butterflies are found throughout most of Ohio.