Red Admirable

Location: my frontyard
March 15, 2011 8:04 pm
what kind of butterfly is this
Signature: n/a

Red Admiral

Dear n/a,
We are often amazed at the lack of information that some people provide when requesting identifications.  There are numerous reasons that a location field is provided on our form, but knowing where a sighting occurred often helps us to narrow down the identification possibilities, thus simplifying the identification process.  While it is great that this butterfly was seen in your front yard, it would be far more helpful for us to at least know what continent your front yard is located on and it wouldn’t influence our identification if this butterfly was photographed in your back yard or even your neighbor’s yard.  Your signature inclines us to believe that you want to maintain your anonymity, which is perfectly fine with us, and that might also explain your reluctance to include a relevant location.  The sparse wording of your request indicates that perhaps you are in a hurry, and you can’t be bothered taking the time to compose a complete sentence other than the demanding phrase that you typed out, and we understand that for personal and professional reasons, many people do not have the luxury of composing a tome when they submit a question.  There is an understanding that questions and images submitted to our website may be posted online, and publication is something that should be taken seriously.  Now that we have chastised you, we can tell you that this beauty is a Red Admiral,
Vanessa atalanta, though we much prefer the name Red Admirable that was coined by our favorite author and amateur lepidopterist, Vladimir Nabokov.  Your front yard might be in California, or Virginia, or Moscow, because the Red Admiral can be found around the world in the Northern Hemisphere.  According to the University of Michigan Animal Diversity website, it has also been introduced to New Zealand where it breeds.  Vladimir Nabokov also stated in a 1970 interview that the Red Admiral is known as the Butterfly of Doom in Russia because large numbers migrated in 1881, the year Tsar Alexander II was assassinated.

4 thoughts on “Red Admirable”

  1. Hi, I’m the person that posted the butterfly above and the reson why it says n/a is because number 1)i just started this acount yesterday so im still tring to figure this web site out and number 2) i did’nt quite understand what Signature ment when i posted the this, sorry, and thank you.

    P.S. my name is Gary

    • Thanks for the clarification Gary. The Red Admiral is one of our favorite butterflies. They often alight on the garden hose in the front yard of our Los Angeles office, and though they fly off if approached, they quickly return to the area. They truly are beautiful butterflies.


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