67 - 72mm
The Red Admiral is unmistakable with the contrast of a curved scarlet (sometimes crimson) red band against the overall black background, with white dots and splashes flung across the fore-wings; a further scarlet band around the back edge of the hind wing is marked with four black dots in the inter-vein sections.
An immigrant and, recently, resident butterfly that can be seen throughout the year but is most prolific in the late summer and early autumn after the insects emerge from pupation. In years of good weather it can be seen in October and even later. Over recent years it has started to survive British winters both as adult butterflies and in other life-cycle stages. It is now commonly seen on sunny days in mid-winter.
The Red Admiral is particularly attracted to purple flowers and especially Buddleia davidii, the common name, 'butterfly bush', along with thistles, Michaelmas Daisies etc. It also enjoys over-ripe orchard fruits such as apples and plums that are rotting on the tree or ground.