Red Admiral Butterfly - Vanessa atalanta
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Family Nymphalidae - admirals, anglewings, brush-footed butterflies, checker-spots, crescent-spots, fritillaries, mourningcloaks, purples. Live adult butterflies photographed at northern Illinois
Red Admiral Butterfly dorsal
April, 2012 - The red admirals have migrated north this year in record numbers, due to the warmest March on record here in the American Midwest. At Castle Rock State Park near the Rock River, I would kick up hundreds of them in just a few dozen yards of walking. It reminds me of the painted lady population explosion we had a few years ago, but they weren't nearly as numerous.

April 2013 - This spring has been one of the coldest on record, and there are no butterflies at all as of April 23rd.

Red Admiral Butterfly
Red Admiral Butterfly lateral
These fast-moving butterflies gave me a run for my money for many years. They are very elusive and rarely perch for more than a few seconds; they are nearly ubiquitous and sometimes abundant in the eastern U.S.
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Order Lepidoptera, which contains both butterflies and moths, includes at least 125,000 known species including 12,000 in North America. Butterflies are revered for their brightly colored wings and pleasing association with fair weather and flowers.
Learn to identify many of the American Midwest's common species through descriptions and large diagnostic photos of live, wild specimens.
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