The Tongue Twister Insect
The Red Admiral butterfly was known as the 'Red Admirable' in Victorian times. Try saying that when you are tipsy... it's no wonder the name has shifted to its modern form.
Vanessa atlanta is a butterfly commonly seen across the UK in the summer. In the past most of our Red Admirals migrated here from Europe, with relatively few overwintyering on the south coast, but a warming climate is seeing more and more of them overwintering succesfully in the UK. They are often to be seen feating on nectar-rich plants like Buddleja and on fallen fruit.
If the Red Admiral were an exotic rarity instead of a familar sight, it would surely be apprecaited as one of the most striking and beautiful of butterfly species.
The underside of the Red Admiral is extraordinary:
See how effectively this pattern works as camoflage: