White Admiral

  • White Admiral (upperwing)
    White Admiral (upperwing)
  • White Admiral (underwing)
    White Admiral (underwing)
  • White Admiral (egg)
    White Admiral (egg)
  • White Admiral (caterpillar)
    White Admiral (caterpillar)
  • Video play iconWhite Admiral (upperwing)
    White Admiral (video)
  • White Admiral (upperwing)
    White Admiral (upperwing)
  • White Admiral (underwing)
    White Admiral (underwing)
  • White Admiral (egg)
    White Admiral (egg)
  • White Admiral (caterpillar)
    White Admiral (caterpillar)
  • White Admiral (upperwing)
    White Admiral (video)

Scientific name: Limenitis camilla

This is a spectacular woodland butterfly, with white-banded black wings and a distinctive delicate flight.

Widespread in southern England, extending just into Wales and northwards. The butterfly has white-banded black wings and a distinctive delicate flight with short periods of wing beats, followed by long glides. It could be confused with the larger Purple Emperor.

Adults are often found nectaring on Bramble flowers in rides and clearings. It is a fairly shade-tolerant butterfly, flying in dappled sunlight to lay eggs on Honeysuckle.

The White Admiral occurs widely in southern Britain and has spread rapidly since the 1920s, after an earlier contraction. However, population monitoring has shown a dramatic decline in the last 20 years for reasons that are as yet unclear.

Size and Family

  • Family – Nymphalids
  • Medium/Large Sized 
  • Wing Span Range (male to female) - 60-64mm

Conservation status

  • Listed as a Section 41 species of principal importance under the NERC Act in England
  • Listed as s Section 42 species of principal importance under the NERC Act in Wales
  • UK BAP status: Priority Species
  • Butterfly Conservation priority: High
  • European threat status: Not threatened

Caterpillar Foodplant

The Sole foodplant is Honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum), usually in shady positions.

Distribution

  • Countries – England and Wales
  • Restricted to southern and central England
  • Distribution Trend Since 1970’s = Britain: -31%

Habitat

The butterfly uses shady woodland and ride edges, often associated with neglected or mature woodland where there are sunny glades with large patches of Bramble to provide nectar for the adults. It is found in both deciduous and mixed deciduous/coniferous woodland.

Factsheets

Similar species