Monday, February 16, 2015

Corralitas Drive: Red Admiral Butterfly

Photo: Diane Edwardson, February 16, 2015.  One of the new butterflies in the Red Car Property Neighborhood paid me a visit.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

I'd been trying to capture a photo of one of these dramatically patterned butterflies for the past 2 weeks.  I've never seen them before.  Yet, they seem to be everywhere this year.  They never stand still long enough for me to grab a clear shot of one to even figure out what kind of butterfly they are. 
Photo Diane Edwardson, February 16, 2015.  When I heard the telltale flapping at the window, I looked up, I couldn't believe it was the elusive butterfly trapped inside the window.  It's a Red Admiral Butterfly (Vanessa atalanta).  

According to P.J. Bryant, Biologist, UC Irvine, in his Butterflies of Orange County research, "The Red Admiral should not be mistaken for any other butterfly. The distinct orange band across the dorsal forewing makes identification of this species easy."

I shot a bunch of photos, then spent 10 minutes trying to gently show the butterfly the way out. It finally got the hint & took off in the direction of the Red Car Property.

Neighbors have been talking about the butterfly bonanza of all species starting so early this year.  We'll be running more butterfly photos throughout the week.  Click here for all the species we've already documented.

Learn more & help track sightings of Red Admirals: Iowa State University