Vanessa atalanta rubria

Photo Life HistoryVanessa atalanta rubria

Habitat:  Mountain Canyons; Agricultural Areas; Valley Wet Meadows;

Host Plants:  Urtica dioica

Suitable Lab Host Plants:

Caring for Live Female Butterflies:  Feed females regularly.

Methods of Female Oviposition:  Open Screen Cages; Portable Cages

How to Find Eggs:  Is not very easy.  However females during the mid-summer months will sometimes oviposit on hostplants with new growth or towards the top of taller plants.  It is much easier to find caterpillars.  (See below.)

How to Hatch Eggs:  Consolidate eggs into one container

How to Find Caterpillars in the Field:  Finding caterpillars is not too difficult if you search for their unique nests around June or July. (Watch this video which demonstrates the differences between red admiral and milbert's tortoise shell nests vs. satyr comma nests.)

Caterpillar setups:  Open terrariums; Open Bucket

Overwintering Stage:  Adult.   

Overwintering Strategies:

Larva to Pupa:  Caterpillar silks to leaf or twig; creates and attaches cremaster; hanging as a J before pupating.

Emergence:  Emergence Container

Number of Broods per Year: 1-2 depending upon location.

Avoiding Diapause Techniques:  

Disease Prevention:  Change out host plant and remove frass every three to six days.

Field Notes: Red Admirals are sometimes spotted migrating north with painted ladies during the spring.