Red admirals

Red admirals (Vanessa atalanta).

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I know very little about butterflies, so I had no idea who this butterfly might be when I took the above photo of it. When I went to the NABA-North Jersey Butterfly Club website, I was delighted to find an almost identical photo taken in Glenhurst Meadows in Somerset County, NJ. Just as with the eastern tiger swallowtail, I was not able to get a spread-out pose. Maybe next time.

Red admirals are nonresidents of New Jersey. They repopulate in New Jersey as migrants from the South, being fairly common and widespread most years and abundant in irruption years. The most recent irruption year was 2012. All this according to the NABA-North Jersey Club website.

Nettles are larval food plants for red admirals. Red admiral butterflies like overripe fruit. The red admiral in the Glenhurst Meadows photo is perched on an ironweed flower. In the photo above, the red admiral is resting on a purple coneflower.

Red admirals are listed in the category of True brushfoots. I hope to find out much more about red admirals and other butterflies who visit the garden.

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