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Species Page - Limenitis arthemis
Limenitis arthemis ->species page

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scientific name    Limenitis arthemis    (Drury)

common name     White Admiral

habitat
Common in shrubby and wooded areas throughout the province.

seasonality
One annual brood, peak flight period from mid June to late July.

identification
Similar to our other two species of true admirals (Limenitis). The White lacks the rust-coloured forewing tips of Lorquin's (L. lorquini), and has a row of reddish spots bordering the outside of the hindwing white band. Their ranges overlap only in the Waterton - Crowsnest region, where hybrid individuals exhibiting characters intermediate between the White and Lorquin's are sometimes found. L. arthemis also has more orange on the hindwing upperside than Weidemeyer's (L. weidemeyerii), and has a red-brown hindwing underside base rather than predominantly white. Hybrids between these two species sometimes also occur. The western Canadian populations are subspecies rubrofasciata.

life history
The pale green eggs are round and sculptured (Guppy &Shepard 2001). Second instar larvae construct a shelter out of a partially rolled-up leaf base with silk, and hibernate inside this structure (Guppy & Shepard 2001). Mature larvae bear a remarkable resemblance to a bird dropping when resting on a leaf, since they are splotchy white and grey brown in colour (Guppy & Shepard 2001) and have a shiny look to them. There are usually five instars, but in BC, male larvae may occasionally 'fast-track' and pupate the same season after only four instars (Guppy & Shepard 2001), forming a partial second brood in late summer and early fall. This phenomenon may also account for August and September records in Alberta (Bird et al. 1995). Adult males perch in shrubs and trees, occasionally patrolling along forest edges, and fly out to investigate other butterflies passing by.

conservation
Not of concern.

diet info
Larvae have been recorded primarily from poplars and willows (Salicaceae) (Layberry et al. 1998), although no particular species have been noted for Alberta. Adults are more fond of carrion and scat than flowers.

range
Alaska east to Newfoundland, south to Florida and eastern Texas. In the range roughly south of the Canadian border, this species looks very different, and is known as the Red-spotted Purple (L. arthemis astyanax).

quick link
http://entomology.museums.ualberta.ca/searching_species_details.php?s=2651



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Related Species Info
Authorship
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References (4)
Specimen Info
There are 24 specimens of this species in the online database
Map Distribution
Adult Seasonal Distributioncreate a collection histogram with specimens
Specimen List (24)

 

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