Butterflies of Keele
Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta
This used to be a wholly migrant species with few, if any, records of over-wintering in this country. However, recent changes in winter temperatures has meant that they can survive over the winter and it is not unusual to see them on the wing in the early spring.
The larvae feed on nettles Urtica spp. The adults visit thistles, Buddleia etc.
Numbers vary from year to year but it is rarely abundant. It is often one of the last butterflies to be seen as it often frequents Ivy blossom Hedera.