White Admiral (Limenitis camilla)

Male. Taken at Bernwood Forest, Bucks, on June 18th 2017.
(1/200th sec at f13. Approx 2x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Male underside. Taken at Bernwood Forest, Bucks, on July 3rd 2015.
(1/160th sec at f13. Approx 2x lifesize. © David Hastings)


Wing span: 56 - 64 mm

The White Admiral has brownish-black upper surfaces, with a white band on both wings. It is the most elegant and graceful British butterfly.

It is found through much of western and central Europe, in central and southern England, and the eastern counties of Wales. By 1900 it was restricted to southern England. However, there has been a reversal of fortune, with the butterfly reaching its former distribution that extends as far north as Lincolnshire. It may be that the cessation of coppicing has benefited this species, as it requires Honeysuckle growing in shady woodland for the successful development of its larvae.

It is found in deciduous and mixed woods where the larval foodplant grows.

Adults emerge in the second half of June and peak in the first part of July. There is usually one brood each year, but in some years there may be a partial second brood in late summer.

The primary larval foodplant is Honeysuckle.

Adults feed primarily on honeydew and sap. Betony, Bramble, Hogweed, Privet and Thistles are also used.

White Admirals have an elegant gliding flight. They spend much of their time in the tree canopy, feeding on honeydew.

This species has Vulnerable status on the UK list.


02-Jul-2017 : Fence Wood, Berks (3)
01-Jul-2017 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (3)
18-Jun-2017 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (3)
18-Jun-2017 : Waterperry Wood, Oxon (1)
15-Jun-2017 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (3)

11-Jul-2016 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (1)

04-Jul-2015 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (1)
03-Jul-2015 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (2)
03-Jul-2015 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (5)

06-Jul-2014 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (4)
21-Jun-2014 : nr Gugutka, Bulgaria
21-Jun-2014 : Zhelezhari, Bulgaria
15-Jun-2014 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (1)