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  • red admiral

red admiral

Pictured: red admiral, Vanessa atalanta

Notes from Jenyns: Common at Bottisham & Ely, in the latter part of the summer, & on till late in the Autumn. Is much attracted by ripe fruit, particularly mulberries.

200-year trend in Cambridgeshire: Slight increase. 

Modern records

Jenyns’ notes show that he often found this species where he lived in Bottisham. Today it is still widespread and common, found across all kinds of habitat. The national trend in recent years has been steadily upwards and climate change is possibly helping this species to survive British winters more regularly. Up until the past decade it was very specifically an annual migrant, which probably bred in the UK each year but retreated south to the Mediterranean to avoid the worst of the cold weather. It now overwinters, but is also still a very strong migrant and in more northern parts of the UK it has been observed flying south in the autumn.

National records map