Limenitis reducta

Southern White Admiral


by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2024

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Digne les Bains, France, May 2022

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Peloppensos, Greece, June 2013

Field notes and information

As its name suggests this is a butterfly of southern Europe. It is widespread and often common. It has a lovely blue sheen on the upperside that varies with the angle of light.

Identification & Similar species: Superficially it is similar to the White Admiral, L. camilla. Their ranges overlap in the northern Mediterranean and Balkans. There are many differences. In L. reducta the underside hindwing basal area has a bold silvery and the ground colour is a rich red. It also has a bold white cell spot on the upperside. In contrast, L. camilla has a pale grey basal area broken up by a warmer orange ground colour. It usually lacks an upperside forewing cell spot, although there may be a whitish shadow here in some individuals.

Distribution & Flight: Northern Spain, southern France and eastwards across southern central Europe, Italy and the Balkans. Single brooded in cooler northern areas (June/ July), variable in some locations such as Switzerland (June/ July) with two generations in hot years (August), perhaps a partial brood in warm years and double or triple brooded in hot places (April/ May, June/ July, August/ Sept)

Habitat & Behaviour: It flies in light woodland and along roadsides cutting through denser forests. It soars and glides gracefully with wings flat open between wing beats. It can often be found resting at about head height on shrubs and trees as if it is defending a territory.

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Valais, Switzerland, June 2007

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Digne les Bains, France, May 2022

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Alpes Maritimes, France, May 2012

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Valais, Switzerland, May 2014

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Valais, Switzerland, June 2017

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Var, France, July 2010

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Var, France, July 2010

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Var, France, April 2006

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Valais, Switzerland, June 2017

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Valais, Switzerland, May 2014

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Peloppensos, Greece, June 2013

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Valais, Switzerland, June 2019

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Var, France, July 2010