White Admiral Butterfly Facts

White admiral butterfly facts are very interesting to learn.

The white admiral (Limenitis arthemis) or the red-spotted purple butterfly is a species of butterfly found in North America. It is highly distinguishable because of the white band it has across its feathers which also gives it a very attractive look. This white mark gives a very subtle identification feature to these butterflies. This is also one of the reasons it has become a trophy for various collectors. Red-spotted purple butterflies carry the distinct look of the pipevine swallowtail which can be used to distinguish them from typical white admirals. They are a subspecies of the Limenitis arthemis and have the scientific name Limenitis arthemis astyanax. The white admiral butterfly is also found in southern Britain and much of Europe. There are two scientific names of this butterfly which are Limenitis arthemis and Limenitis camilla. Both Limenitis arthemis and Limenitis camilla share physical as well as behavioral characteristics.

To know more about the white admiral (Limenitis arthemis) and learn interesting facts about these butterflies, read on. If you enjoy reading about this insect, then you must also check out some cool facts about  monarch butterfly and painted lady butterfly.

White Admiral Butterfly

Fact File

What do they prey on?


What do they eat?


Average litter size?

One brood per year

How much do they weigh?


How long are they?

Wingspan: 2.3-2.5 in (5.8-6.35 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Black with white bands along the wings

Skin Type

Soft skin

What are their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Not Evaluated

Where you'll find them

Woodland, edges of forests, and parks


North America





Scientific Name

Limenitis arthemis





White Admiral Butterfly Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a white admiral butterfly?

The white admiral (Limenitis arthemis) or the red-spotted purple butterfly is a very common butterfly found in North America.

What class of animal does a white admiral butterfly belong to?

The white admiral or red-spotted purple butterflies belong to the class Insecta.

How many white admiral butterfly are there in the world?

White admiral butterflies are abundant and very common in the areas they are found in. Their exact population is not known.

Where does a white admiral butterfly live?

White admirals are found in North America on the edges of forests. You can also spot them in your local park. They range across various parts of North America. They prefer the north parts of countries, although the distribution is wide. They are widespread in the northern areas of the United States from New England to the Great Southern Lake all they way to eastern Canada. White admirals are abundantly found in Massachusetts and the surrounding areas. The most common areas where they are found in abundance include New England and Massachusetts.

What is a white admiral butterfly's habitat?

These butterflies can be found in shady woodlands, roadsides, ride edges, and edges of forests. Their most common habitat is usually mature or neglected woodlands where they can find plenty of nectar. They live in both deciduous and a mix of deciduous-coniferous woodlands. They can be found on birch and other tress because that is where they prefer to reproduce and lay eggs. These butterflies can mostly be been in their habitats in the summer season and are also found in park areas where you can see them while strolling.

Who do white admiral butterfly live with?

This species lives in their habitat along with other members of its species.

How long does a white admiral butterfly live?

The butterflies of this species live approximately for four months in their butterfly avatar.

How do they reproduce?

White admiral butterflies copulate during the summer season. When a male white admiral or red-spotted purple butterflies (subspecies with pipevine swallowtail mimicry) have to copulate, they frequent territories where female white admirals go in abundance. Most males prefer perching on foliage trees or vines, rather than host trees. Such foliage consists of elm tress, maple, raspberry bushes which are generally 3.2-6.6 ft (1-2 m) off the ground. The mating behavior of males can be seen in the afternoon around 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The male lands behind the female to copulate and if the female does not want to reproduce, they close their dorsal wings. Males sometimes fight over enclosing females for copulation and reproduction because female butterflies have the ability to 'double-mate' which means they can mate with two males.  

Females lay eggs during the summer in mid-June to mid-July. The eggs are tiny and greenish in color and are laid upon the upper surface of any leaf in the forest, but they usually prefer green leaves in forests or park areas. They choose plants close to the ground. After seven to nine days, the eggs hatch on the leaf and the egg becomes a caterpillar and goes through the five life stages of its life cycle on its own.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of this butterfly is Not Evaluated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. However, Limenitis camilla is listed as a species in the Least Concern category.

White Admiral Butterfly Fun Facts

What do white admiral butterflies look like?

Limenitis arthemis are black butterflies with distinctive white bands through the center of their wings. The white band is considered their distinguishable feature and makes their identification very easy. They have a gingery-brown underside that can sometimes consist of red, brown, orange or blue submarginal spots. They also have a cluster of few white spots on the apex. These red, orange, brown, or blue spots are usually found in females. They are considered one of the prettiest butterflies in the world. Mature females are more colorful and larger than their male counterparts and have bigger and rounder wings.

White admiral butterflies are fairly common in North America.

How cute are they?

This species of butterflies is very cute and and are very attractive to look at with their white bands and blue, orange, or red spots.

How do they communicate?

White admiral butterflies (Limenitis arthemis) don't usually communicate with each other apart from copulation. This includes the male landing behind a female for mating and the female closing its wings if she does not want to mate.

How big is a white admiral butterfly?

This butterfly has a wingspan with a range between 2.3-2.5 in (60-65 mm) in length. This is the normal size of an adult butterfly. They are larger than moths, but way smaller than small birds.

How fast can a white admiral butterfly fly?

The flight of the white admiral butterfly is quite distinctive. Their flight is very delicate with short period of wing beats which are followed by long glides. The speed of this butterfly is similar to that of other butterflies which is 5-12 mph (8-20 kph).

How much does a white admiral butterfly weigh?

The weight of adults of this species of butterflies is very negligible as they are very light and delicate. There is no definitive data on how much a white admiral butterfly weighs but they weigh around the same as a regular adult butterfly.

What are their male and female names of the species?

T male and female names of the species are the same which is Limenitis arthemis.

What would you call a baby white admiral butterfly?

A baby white admiral butterfly has the same name as other baby butterflies. They are known as caterpillars.

What do they eat?

Adults of this species usually only feed on liquids. They suck liquids from ripe and rotting fruit, nectar of flowers, sap of injured tress, liquids from corpses of mammals, and sometimes even animal urine and excrement.

Are they dangerous?

White admiral butterflies are not at all dangerous and are extremely beautiful.

Would they make a good pet?

Butterflies are normally not meant to be kept as pets as they are better suited to the wild and forests where they can thrive.

Did you know...

The white admiral was voted as the official insect of Quebec in 1998. Also, thewhite admiral is the official state butterfly of New York.

White admirals gather on wet soil because males can detect sodium which is essential for successful reproduction.

The prettiest butterfly in the world is the Morpho butterfly which is known for its bright blue wings.

Caterpillars and butterflies are food for various birds. The pupa and the larvae are also food to various insects, bugs, and wasps.

Although it is a common misconception that butterflies can't see their wings, all butterflies including  white admiral butterflies can most certainly see them as they have 360 degree vision.

What does a white admiral caterpillar eat?

Caterpillars usually feed on green leaves of different trees like willow, poplar, birch, and other deciduous trees. The diet of the red-spotted purple and white admiral butterflies is the same.

Do butterflies have brains and hearts?

Yes, butterflies do have both a brain and a heart in their body, although the biology is a little different. The center of the nervous system of a butterfly is located in its thorax, rather than in its head and is known as subesophageal ganglion. The heart of a butterfly is long and chambered and runs along the length of its body on the upper side. It pumps blood from the rear to the front of the body to reach all its organs. Although the functions of their blood are similar to human blood, the butterflies' blood lacks the red color of human blood.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods including morpho butterfly, or hobo spider.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our caterpillar to butterfly coloring pages.



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