White Admiral

Limenitis camilla

About

The White Admiral is a medium-sized butterfly found in shady woodlands, clearings and rides in late summer. Adults are often found on the flowers of Bramble and lay their eggs on honeysuckle leaves, which the caterpillars feed on. Usually seen in ones or twos, it is never very common, but is widespread in southern England.

How to identify

The White Admiral is black above and gingery-brown below, with white patches on the wings. The only similar species is the larger Purple Emperor. The White Admiral has a distinctive flight pattern of short periods of wing beats followed by long glides.

Where to find it

Found in woodlands in southern England.

Habitats

When to find it

  • June
  • July
  • August

How can people help

Despite spreading rapidly during the early 20th century, the White Admiral has suffered dramatic declines in recent years. Reasons for this decline are, as yet, unclear, although lack of woodland management, such as coppicing, has taken its toll. The Wildlife Trusts manage many woodland nature reserves for the benefit of butterflies: a mix of coppicing, scrub-cutting, ride maintenance and non-intervention all help woodland wildlife to thrive. You can help too: volunteer for your local Wildlife Trust and you could be involved in everything from traditional forest crafts to surveying for butterflies.

Species information

Common name
White Admiral
Latin name
Limenitis camilla
Category
Invertebrates
Butterflies and moths
Statistics
Wingspan: 5.6-6.6cm
Conservation status
Classified as a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.