White Admiral Butterfly - Limenitis camilla

Phylum: Arthropoda - Class: Insecta - Order: Lepidoptera - Family: Nymphalidae

White Admiral Butterfly - Limenitis camilla

The White Admiral is a beautiful woodland butterfly, and with a wingspan ranging from 5.5 to 6.5cm it is quite conspicuous.

White Admiral, closed-wing view

The undersides of the wings are more strikingly coloured than the rather subdued uppersides, which are black with white bands; they carry a double row of black dots near the edge of the hindwing, which contrasts with a single row on the hindwings of the Southern White Admiral.


Never abundant, White Admirals occur mainly in southern England and south-east Wales, although with the the climate of Britain warming up their range has been gradually extending further north. On mainland Europe the White Admiral is most commonly seen in central countries notably France and Germany and in a broad band across to Turkey and onwards through central Asia to include Japan. The northern range of this butterfly does not include Scandinavia, and to the south it is found in only the most northerly parts of Spain.

White Admiral Butterfly - Limenitis camilla, Bulgaria

We photographed the specimen shown above in central Bulgaria.


From eggs laid in late summer on Honeysuckle, Lonicera periclymenum, spiny brown larvae hatch in a few days and begin feeding on the leaves of this climbing plant rather than on its very beautiful scented flowers. (Honeysuckle flowers are very attractive to many kinds of butterflies, however, because they are an abundant source of nectar.) The caterpillars overwinter in a curled up drief leaf, reawakening in the springtime and resuming feeding on new growth of the foodplant; they pupate attached to Honeysuckle stems.

White Admiral Butterfly - Limenitis camilla, old specimen


This page includes pictures kindly contributed by Betty and Tony Rackham and by James Wainscoat.

Studying butterflies and moths...

Excited at the prospect of flyfishing? So are we, and we're pretty sure you would find the Winding River Mystery trilogy of action-packed thrillers gripping reading too. Dead Drift, Dead Cert, and Dead End are Pat O'Reilly's latest river-and-flyfishing based novels, and now they are available in ebook format. Full details on our website here...

Buy each book for just £4.96 on Amazon...

Please Help Us: If you have found this information interesting and useful, please consider helping to keep First Nature online by making a small donation towards the web hosting and internet costs.

Any donations over and above the essential running costs will help support the conservation work of Plantlife, the Rivers Trust and charitable botanic gardens - as do author royalties and publisher proceeds from books by Pat and Sue.

© 1995 - 2024 First Nature: a not-for-profit volunteer-run resource

Please help to keep this free resource online...

Terms of use - Privacy policy - Disable cookies - Links policy