The Red Admiral is a medium-sized species indigenous to the temperate parts North Africa, Europe, the Americas, Caribbean islands and Asia. Though it mostly inhabits the warmer regions, this butterfly moves northward during spring and even in autumn. The undersides of the wings are a mottled brown and tan with a curved bright red color on the upper side of the brown/black wings.


Red Admiral” by Ian Preston, licensed under (CC BY 2.0)


Red Admiral Facts

Butterfly Family: Brush-footed Butterflies (Nymphalidae)

Butterfly Subfamily: Nymphalinae

Butterfly Wingspan: 1 3/4 – 3 inches

Butterfly Habitat: Moist woods, yards, parks, marshes, seeps, and moist fields. During migrations, the Red Admiral is found in almost any habitat from tundra to subtropics.


Red Admiral Host and Nectar Plants

Host Plants:

  • Stinging Nettle
  • False Nettle
  • Wood Nettle
  • Tall Wild Nettle
  • Pellitory

Nectar Plants:

  • Tree Sap
  • Fermenting Fruit
  • Nectar from flowers (when tree sap and fermenting fruit are not available)
    • Common Milkweed
    • Aster
    • Red Clover
    • Alfalfa