Butterflies of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance

Common Name begins with:
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Scientific Name begins with:
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Once on a species account page, clicking on the "View PDF" link will show the flight data for that species, for each of the three regions of the state.
Other information, such as high counts and earliest/latest dates, can also been seen on the PDF page.

Related Species in NYMPHALIDAE:
comNameRed-spotted Purple by Roger Rittmaster => Durham Co.
[View PDF]
Click to enlarge
[Google Images]     BoA [Images ]
sciNameLimenitis arthemis astyanax
Link to BAMONA species account.
mapClick on a county for list of all database records for the species in that county.
distributionDISTRIBUTION: Statewide, certainly occurring in all counties; also widespread along the immediate coast, such as the Outer Banks.
abundanceABUNDANCE: Common and widespread, though seldom seen in large numbers. Abundance reasonably even across the state, not obviously more common in some provinces than others except near the coast, where generally uncommon.
flightFLIGHT PERIOD: Apparently three broods, extending from mid-April to late October; rarely as early as the end of March and into November. The first brood seems to end during the first half of June in the Coastal Plain and Piedmont, and in late June in the mountains. The flight after this gap seems to have two broods that run together.
habitatHABITAT: Typically in or near hardwood forests or their borders. It favors openings or edges of rich or moist woods, but it is also found along powerline clearings in uplands, as well as wooded yards and gardens. It can be seen flying around roads and fields, but it would be misleading to give the impression that it is a denizen of wide-open places.
plantsFOOD AND NECTAR PLANTS: Foodplants are leaves of hardwood trees, such as cherry (Prunus) and other trees in the Rosaceae family. It has a wide array of such food trees. The species nectars to some extent, but it is more often seen perched on damp ground sucking moisture, or taking tree sap, carrion, etc.
commentsCOMMENTS: This conspicuous and attractive butterfly is often mistaken as a swallowtail by the novice. It is one of the more frequently seen butterflies flying through hardwood forests, particularly open woods, along wooded trails, and dirt roads through forests. Many are run over by cars on dirt roads. Though not normally seen in colonies, I have seen as many as 20 individuals in a day on several occasions.

The Red-spotted Purple (L. arthemis astyanax) is the southern counterpart of the other subspecies, the White Admiral (L. arthemis arthemis), which is dark with a single wide white band on each wing. Because most Limenitis species are known as Admirals (e.g., Lorquin's and Weidemeyer's), the NABA Checklist (2001) and NatureServe Explorer give the common name for the full species as "Red-spotted Admiral", which is the sensible name for the full species. However, to avoid confusing butterfliers in NC, we prefer to use the subspecies name on the header line. [The Butterflies of America website only gives common names for the two subspecies, but not one for the combined full species.]
state_statusS5
fed_statusG5
synonym
other_nameRed-spotted Admiral (also called White Admiral) is the common name for the full species [Limenitis arthemis].
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Links to other butterfly galleries: [Cook] [Lynch] [Pippen] [Pugh]
Photo Gallery for Red-spotted Purple
Photo by: Roger Rittmaster
Comment: Durham Co.
Red-spotted Purple - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Scott Hartley
Comment: Weymouth Woods-SNP, 2006-04-11, bird dropping mimic at this instar
Red-spotted Purple - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Scott Hartley
Comment: Weymouth Woods-SNP, 2006-04-01, hibernaculum of red-spotted purple on wild cherry.
Red-spotted Purple - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Betty Anderson
Comment: WB Umstead State Park, 2003-08-02
Red-spotted Purple - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Lori Owenby
Comment: chrysalis
Red-spotted Purple - Click to enlarge