Limenitis camilla

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This article is about the Old World species; for information on the North American white admiral, see Limenitis arthemis.

White admiral
White admiral (Limenitis camilla).jpg
White admiral (Limenitis camilla) underside.jpg
Both, Oaken Wood, Surrey, England
Scientific classification
L. camilla
Binomial name
Limenitis camilla
(Linnaeus, 1764)
  • L. c. camilla
  • L. c. japonica Ménétriés, 1857
  • Papilio camilla Linnaeus, 1764
  • Papilio prorsa Linnaeus, 1764
  • Papilio sibilla Linnaeus, 1767
  • Limenitis sibylla var. stenotaenia Honrath, 1892
  • Limenitis sibilla puellula Fruhstorfer, 1909
  • Ladoga camilla

Limenitis camilla, the (Eurasian) white admiral, is a butterfly of the family Nymphalidae. It is found in woodland throughout southern Britain and much of Europe and Asia, extending as far east as Japan.

Adult white admirals have black wings with white bands. The contrasting colours help to break up the outline of the wing, camouflaging it from predators. They have a wingspan of approximately 60–65 mm and have a distinctive, elegant flight consisting of short periods of wing beats, followed by long glides.

The white admiral feeds on bramble blossom and honeydew and the female will lay its eggs singly on wisps of honeysuckle growing in dense woodland. The caterpillars are green with red-brown hairs and are camouflaged on a leaf by a mixture of their own droppings and silk. As autumn approaches it will form a tent-like structure made of leaf tissue known as a hibernaculum which it then secures to the stem with silk before hibernating. The caterpillar will then awaken the following spring and after a brief spell of feeding will moult, revealing a spiny green skin. It will then pupate during the summer, forming a green and gold chrysalis. After approximately two weeks the adult will emerge.

Larvae feed on Lonicera (L. japonica, L. xylosteum, L. tatarica, L. maackii, L. gibbiflora) and Weigela horstensis.[1]


Listed alphabetically:[1]

  • L. c. camilla – Europe, Caucasus, Transcaucasia
  • L. c. japonica Ménétriés, 1857 – Amur, Ussuri, Korea, China


  1. ^ a b "Limenitis Fabricius, 1807" at Markku Savela's Lepidoptera and Some Other Life Forms