Wisconsin Native Caterpillars
Red Admiral Caterpillar
Genus-Species: Vanessa atalanta
Description: Variable in color, ranging from
yellow all the way to black. Black individuals are covered with minute yellow flecks.
Six groups of branched spines cross each segment.
Chrysalis: May be gray or brown with black
markings. Short tubercles cover the body and a speckled with gold flecks.
Host Plants: Plants of the nettle family (Urticaceae)
including Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), Tall wild nettle (U. gracilis), Wood nettle (Laportea
canadensis), False nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica)
Habitat: Found in a wide variety of habitats, especially
when it is abundant. Usually found at woodland edges, along streams, woodland trails, and
nectaring in nearby fields.
Comments: The Red Admiral, like the American Lady
and the Painted Lady, varies greatly in numbers from year to year
Find instructions on how to design a butterfly-friendly habitat including a catalog of favorite flowers
guaranteed to attract butterflies.
Take this quick quiz and see how much you know about caterpillars. This quiz is intended for fun, in
a random-facts-can-be-cool kind of way.
How does this magic happen? Learn about metamorphosis - the process of transformation from an
immature form to an adult bitterfly.