White Admiral
Limenitis arthemis arthemis
August 29, 2010

  The white admiral is a modest-size butterfly, and I had assumed that it was related to the red admiral, but it isn't. The closest relation to the white admiral is the red-spotted purple.

Depending on one's source, white admirals and red-spotted purples are either two subspecies or two separate species. The two types interbreed, giving way to a number of intermediate color patterns.

Whatever the white admiral may happen to be, it is one of the more striking butterflies I've come across. The photos here are large, but I think the white admiral is worth it.

White Admiral, wings up
  Peterson's field guide Eastern Butterflies identifies a number of white admiral and red-spotted purple variants; however, all the variants have the characteristic white U-shape across the wings.
White Admiral
  Butterflies through Binoculars considers all the variants with white banding to be white admirals, which is certainly easier on the identification process.

Photo note: I used the Pentax K20D, with the Voigtlander 125mm macro lens, for both photos, taken on August 27, 2010. (Yes, I unfortunately overexposed the white band in the second photo.)

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