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Limenitis arthemis

Limenitis arthemis
Photo Information
Copyright: Denis Mark (dmark11) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 195 W: 9 N: 655] (2633)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-07-02
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon EOS 60D, Canon EF 100 mm F2.8 Macro USM
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/125 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2011-08-05 9:02
Viewed: 2790
Points: 30
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note

White Admiral, Red-spotted Purple
Limenitis arthemis (Drury, 1773)

Diagnosis: There are several forms of this species, two so distinct that they were treated as separate species for many years. Subspecies arthemis and rubrofasciata, the White Admiral, have a deep purplish-black ground colour on the upperside, with a broad white band crossing both wings. There is a row of spots, blue with often a small amount of red in arthemis and completely red in rubrofasciata, adjacent to the outer margin of the white band on the hindwing. The underside of both subspecies is pale reddish brown with bright brick-red spots along the outer margin and the near the base; the white bands are repeated on the underside. Subspecies astyanax, the Red-spotted Purple, has the same ground colour on the upperside, but entirely lacks the white bands except in some hybrids where the ranges overlap. The outer part of the hindwing upperside has a greenish iridescence. The underside lacks the white band and is blackish in colour except for the same brick-red spots. The wingspan (47 to 78 mm) is highly variable; smaller specimens occur in the north.

Subspecies: Subspecies arthemis occurs from the east coast to Manitoba. Subspecies rubrofasciata flies from central Manitoba westward; in western Ontario and eastern Manitoba the proportion of red versus blue in the submarginal row of spots changes, with the spots in western specimens being almost completely red. Subspecies astyanax has been recorded in Canada only from southern Ontario east to Hastings County; it mimics the distasteful Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor). Hybrids between subspecies arthemis and subspecies astyanax occur in a zone through central Ontario south of the Canadian Shield, and occasionally also in southeastern Ontario well beyond the range of astyanax.

Range: Common throughout all provinces, Yukon and the Northwest Territories north to treeline, but rare in southern British Columbia.

Similar Species: Weidemeyer's Admiral (L. weidemeyerii) and Lorquin's Admiral (L. lorquini) are similar to the White Admiral. [compare images]

Early Stages: The larva is white with greyish-brown areas and resembles a bird dropping when it sits on a leaf. Foodplants include willow (Salix spp.), aspen, and poplar (Populus spp.). Subspecies arthemis also feeds on birch (Betula spp.), while astyanax feeds on some more southerly trees such as cherries (Prunus spp.) and oaks (Quercus spp.).

Flight Season: The adults fly from June to August, with a partial second generation into September.

Habits: Roads and clearings in wooded areas are where this butterfly is most often seen. They like to sun themselves on leaves or on gravel roads, where they periodically open and close their wings. They are rarely seen on flowers, but congregate on rotting fruit and animal dung.

Remarks: The common name for the white-banded form (White Admiral) and that of the unbanded, mimetic form (Red-spotted Purple) have been used for so many years that it is difficult to use either common name for the species as a whole. For those who prefer a single common name, we propose the name Redspotted Admiral; this would still allow the names White Admiral and Red-spotted Purple to be used for the two distinctive forms of the species. Sometimes Red-spotted Purples with some or all of a white band are seen in the more southern part of its range, and White Admirals with no white bands are occasionally discovered north of where the Red-spotted Purple is found. These are specimens in which recessive genes produce odd results. They also confirm that the two are forms of the same species. Both subspecies hybridize occasionally with other members of the genus, including the Viceroy (L. archippus).

bungbing, PaulLees, Argus, kapildk, siggi, maaciejka, mikou, tuslaw, cobra112 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

hello Denis
very good sharpness composition with gooddetails and super colours
thanks greeting lou

Hi Denis,
Beautiful butterfly and you have captured it very well, excellent point of view, very nice lighting, lovely sharpness details and colours on its wings, nicely done,
Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend,
Best Regards,

Hi Denis,

Well what a fabulous capture of this little White Admiral Butterfly my good friend, great exposure/white balance control, exceptional detailed sharpness with fine wing markings, splendid picture here Denis and well done, have a super weekend,
Best regards,


Interesting and beautiful butterfly Denis! Excellent photo with very good composition fantastic colours and impressive sharpness, Interesting note too.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2011-08-05 9:46]

Hello Denis,
A very fine portrayal of this form of Limenitis arthemis. The POV is perfect for the open wing pose and shows its features with excellent sharpness and colours in a pleasing composition against a natural leafy BG.
Great note too.
Thanks for sharing this beauty,

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2011-08-05 9:59]

Hi Denis,magnificent specie taken whit the best wings position,great details and beautiful colors,only the white is a little overexposed but no problem,nobody is perfect and this is a great gift to the butterflies fans like me!Thanks for share,have a nice weekend,Luciano.

  • Great 
  • Kasek Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 74 W: 13 N: 50] (284)
  • [2011-08-05 10:05]

Beautiful object, great details and contrast well done!

Hi Denis,
Very beautiful closeup on the two butterflies with such beautiful colouration and sharpness!
the exposure and focus is good with great details in the shot!

Hi Denis,

Beautiful picture of this white admiral spreading the wings. It's a nice pose to capture.
Good POV & great sharpness. Well done & TFS.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2011-08-05 13:04]

Hello Denis,
Wonderful shot of this beautiful butterfly with such lovely colours and details on its wings.I like your top POV to portray it. Very nicely composed.Best regards Siggi

Hi Denis,
excellent photo of this beautiful butterfly. Excellent point of view. Nice natural colours.
Have a nice weekend,

  • Great 
  • mikou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 869 W: 68 N: 1479] (6093)
  • [2011-08-06 6:56]

Hi Denis.
Very good capture of this beautiful coloured butterfly. Nice capture with very good POV and perfect sharpness.
TFS and best regards

great capture for a wonderful butterfly, excelent details and lovely colors on the subject,

have a good time Denis,

ciao, tino

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2011-08-10 19:46]

Hello Denis,
I am always amazed at the many beautiful types of butterflies there are from all over the world. This one in particular has gorgeous markings and vivid colors. Great job of capturing him for all to enjoy viewing. Well done!!

Ciao Denis. Great POV and razor details for the beauty in opened wings. Excellent light and beautiful natural colours.


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