Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) life history
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) Life History


4-11-12

4-15-12
     

4-16-12
     

4-22-12
     

A Red Admiral caterpillar that is more colorful than most I've seen, 4-25-12
     

A more typical sibling of the above caterpillar, 4-26-12
     

Chrysalis, 4-28-12
     

Fresh adult Red Admiral, ventral, 5-3-12
     

Fresh adult Red Admiral, dorsal, 5-3-12
 

The Red Admiral is one of those common butterflies that I just can't seem to catch in the act of laying eggs. However, the time did come when I found some eggs on a potted plant, False Nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica, probably).

Three eggs were located on April 11, 2012. I was inspecting the plant regularly, so they were probably found within a day of being deposited. The caterpillars emerged four days later. As is their habit, they formed nests by tying together leaves of the host plant. This made it difficult to photograph the larvae without disturbing them.

The caterpillars matured rapidly, pupating 12-14 days after emerging from the egg. The adults took about a week to emerge.

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