Friday, August 26, 2011

White Admiral: the Red-Spotted Purple of the North

Here in Maine there aren't any red-spotted purple butterflies. Or are there? What we know in Ohio as a red-spotted purple butterfly does not have distinctive white wing bars like this individual I photographed today. This is the white admiral. It's the same species, but a different subspecies that replaces our red-spotted purples further north in places like Maine and Canada.

It looks as if someone took a paintbrush to a red-spotted purple's wings.

We had a beautiful sunny day and it's hard to believe that Hurricane Irene is headed our way. By the time it makes it, most of the energy will be gone from the storm. Although we were originally scheduled to fly out Sunday morning, our flights were cancelled this afternoon. We re-booked to travel home on Tuesday. Irene, we're waiting for you.



  1. Beautiful photos! There are a lot of White Admirals here in northern Wisconsin, too. I'm sure you already know this, but my understanding is that the Red-spotted form is mimicking Pipevine Swallowtails, which are not found this far north (and therefore there's no point in mimicking them up here).

  2. Thanks Rebecca- that makes sense. I haven't studied butterflies very much- I should, and I've made them one of my key photo subjects for the rest of he summer. Thanks.