An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

White Admiral/Red-spotted Purple Caterpillars Emerge from Hibernation

5-15-13 white admiral larva 133Butterflies in the family Nymphalidae are also referred to as brush-footed butterflies (their front pair of legs are much reduced, brush-like and nonfunctional). Several species of Admiral butterflies belong to this family, and one of the most common in New England is the White Admiral, also known as the Red-spotted Purple. White Admirals overwinter as caterpillars and emerge in late April to feed for several weeks on the young leaves of cherries, willows, poplars and birches, as well as other trees, before forming chrysalises and transforming into butterflies. It is relatively easy to recognize the larva of any species of Admiral butterfly, as they are our only horned bird-dropping mimics. Quite an effective way to discourage predators!

3 responses

  1. Nannette Orr

    something to look for. Remind me to tell you about Mary Holland some time.

    May 15, 2013 at 11:50 am

    • Uh oh. Just what might you say about Mary Holland to your friend??? 🙂

      May 15, 2013 at 12:19 pm

  2. BEAUTIFUL! How do you do it Mary?? Such talent!
    Thank you.

    May 15, 2013 at 12:22 pm

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