White Admiral Butterfly
June 13, 2010
Love your site! I photographed this butterfly in Eastern Ontario in a natural forested area (mostly aspens and birch trees). They are quite common here. I think I have identified it correctly (thanks to your wonderful site) as a White Adminral.
Stephanie
Embrun, Ontario

White Admiral

Hi Stephanie,
You have properly identified your White Admiral, Limenitis arthemis arthemis, and you have also gotten excellent documentary photographs of a lovely specimen.  The White Admiral and the Red Spotted Purple are considered subspecies of the same species, with the White Admiral exhibiting the coloration of the northern population, and the Red Spotted Purple exhibiting the coloration of the southern population.  There are also intermediate forms where the ranges of the populations overlap.  To make things even more complicated, there is also a Wester White Admiral, again a subspecies.  BugGuide has nice photos showing the various subspecies.

White Admiral

Thank you Daniel. I hadn’t expected a reply but you’ve surprised me.  You must get 100’s of emails a day asking to id various insects.  You’ve made my day!
Stephanie

Hi Stephanie,
While it is true that we are receiving about 100 emails daily right now, and we cannot read, much less answer or post them all, we do have a random system of choosing which letters to read.  Your subject line caught our attention because the White Admiral is a lovely butterfly and we were hoping the images were of high quality.  Your photos exceeded our expectations.  We were also happy that you had attempted to identify the species yourself and you were successful.

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