Is this a Red Admiral?

davesselsJune 11, 2014

I saw this one nectaring on my dragons blood sedum this morning, which I thought was very odd. Then I realized that on Monday we had 50mph winds and it emptied my hummingbird nectar all over the flower bed, and it must of been the nectar it was after. Pictures taken with my iphone so not to great. I have never seen one here before, do you think it is a male or female? I do have a butterfly bush in bloom, but I don't think I have anything planted that it would use as a host plant... So exciting to see something other than a BST.

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davessels

Picture of side underside, on my clematis vine that is also covered in sugar nectar.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 12:04PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

I don't know if it's a male or female, but it's definitely a red admiral.

The only plant in my garden I find them nectaring on with any regularity is my Ellen's Blue butterfly bush. American ladies like it, too.

Sherry

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 12:24PM
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runmede(7a Virginia)

They like over ripe fruit, too. I buy small cups of peach, mango, applesauce, they love it. So does this Snout.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 1:05PM
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Leafhead

Definitely a Red Admiral. Plant some Wood Nettle, False Nettle or Pellitory as host plants.

John

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 2:22PM
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davessels

Thank you all! I was sure it was, but needed confirmation from the experts. I was just thinking that I really don't want to plant stinging nettle, so I will research and see which of Leafheads suggestions will do best here.
This will be my learning summer, as last year I only had BST cats, and did not pay attention to what else might be around, or I did not have the amount of nectar and host plants that I do this year to attract the different butterflies.
I have seen several bright orange and brown butterflies the last few weeks, but I haven't been close enough to see the specific markings, there are so many with those colors. I never saw them nectar or go to any plants as if they were laying eggs. One kept going to my tomato and pepper plants but then fluttering all around the garden, but never stopping on anything.
I will put out some fruit today just incase the Red Admiral comes back.
Debra

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 2:42PM
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runmede(7a Virginia)

The false nettle do not sting. And, are the host plant for the question mark and comma, too.

Here is a link that might be useful: False Nettle info click here

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 4:30PM
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davessels

I had another one this afternoon, this one has red on the underside. I was delighted to see it nectaring on my Veronica "Fairy Tale". I will be looking for some false nettle to plant, or seeds if it isn't too late.
The pictures I took this afternoon were with my new Nikon L830. It is so wonderful, I can't stop taking pictures. I believe this is the one misssherry got not too long ago.. It is amazing compared to my well loved and used Canon PS S2IS.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 7:52PM
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little_bee(10b-Ft. Lauderdale, FL)

Glad I saw your post....I had taken a picture of a butterfly but had no idea what it was. After looking at your pic, I think mine may be a Red Admiril also but the under side doesn't look the same unless it's the angle. Looks the same on top as it does on the bottom of the wings. What do you think? If not, what do you think it may be?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 7:59PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Debra, I'm loving my Nikon L830! It has a long zoom, so if you want to take a picture of a bird high up in a tree, you can do it.

I think you can see more red on the underside when the red admiral is newly emerged. This picture shows it well -

Sherry

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 8:09PM
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larry_gene

All Red Admirals have show-through red on the forewing underside, it is a matter of the butterfly's posture and how much the wing pairs are overlapping, sometimes blocking the red band from view.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 12:39AM
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runmede(7a Virginia)

Veronica is a host plant for the Buckeye butterfly. When are we going to have another Buckeye, Red Admiral, etc., irruption.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 10:13AM
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Leafhead

I did not know that Veronica hosts Buckeyes, Runmede...
Which species works best? I have the upright type and the groundcover variety.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 12:03PM
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runmede(7a Virginia)

I looked up the post that had that info. And I have had them use it. I'll have to look up the cultivar. It was Veronica spicata.

Here is a link that might be useful: Post on Buckeyes using Veronica -- click here

This post was edited by runmede on Thu, Jun 12, 14 at 12:33

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 12:24PM
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davessels

Runmede, Thanks for the info on the Veronica spicata, that is what I have. I would love to see a Buckeye on mine. They are not listed for my county, but they are common in other parts of the Texas Panhandle. Maybe one will lose it's way and find my garden.
leafhead, I also have the Veronica "Tidal Pool" ground cover and I had lots of Graystreaks on it when it was blooming this spring.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 4:05PM
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