Friday, February 05, 2010

NZ Red Admiral Vanessa gonerilla

This is absolutely drop dead gorgeous. I was researching various Nymphalid butterflies and I decided to look into various Vanessa sp. Let me tell you I have no idea how that happened. It just did. So I came across several and this is one of them.

You'll be seeing more I promise you. As I mentioned before I had the pleasure of raising Vanessa cardui for many years. I hope to do it again this year.

Idk we'll see. For now some info from Wikipedia:

Red Admirals occur most frequently during summer and may live for several months, they overwinter as adults so can be seen on warm winters days.

They are long lived, surviving up to 6 months in the summer, and perhaps 9 months for those who over-winter.

The adults feed on nectar from various plant species (native and introduced) and occasionally on seepage of sap.

The fact that they can live longer then monarchs ( monarchs can live up to 8 months ) is shocking. The fact that I believed my butterfly documentary saying that longest lived butterfly is the monarch is shocking.

I believed it for years without doing proper research. Unless of course the narrator was talking about the longest lived American butterfly ( even though monarchs are international )?

I'm rambling here you see my point? Anyway some more info:

It is difficult to distinguish between Red Admiral and Yellow Admiral caterpillars. Caterpillars on the Tree Nettle (Ongaonga) (Urtica ferox) are more likely to be Red Admirals than Yellow Admirals.

Looking at the 4th and 6th body segments, the Yellow Admiral has a wider light colored area than the Red Admiral.

When compared side by side it may be noted that the pupae of the Red Admiral tends to be thinner and longer than that Yellow Admiral, but otherwise they are very difficult to tell apart.

Well that must be nice for the people who want to raise them and can't tell them apart. XD

The rest of the info can be found here. Enjoy

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