The Red-spotted Admiral Butterfly comes in two very
forms. The White Admiral (not pictured) has a wide white band on the top and
bottom of its wings, while the Red-spotted Purple (pictured here) is easily
identifiable by its iridescent blue color and orange or red-orange spots on the
underside of its wings. The butterfly is fairly large with a wingspan of 2.5 -
The Red-spotted Admiral Butterfly is a
mimic of the Pipevine Swallowtail which predators do not like to eat due
to their unpleasant taste.
The butterfly can be found throughout much of Arizona except
for the extreme western and northeast portions as well as in New Mexico. It
typically lives along streams and rivers in oak woodlands and mixed evergreen
forests. Adults typically fly from late March through the middle of November
and eat sap, rotting fruit, carrion, dung, and occasionally nectar. Host plants
for the butterfly include willows, cottonwood, quaking aspen and chokecherry.