Southern white admiral

Southern white admiral / Limenitis reducta / أدميرال الجنوب البيضاء

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Status: Uncommon

With a wingspan of 23-27 mm (male) and up to 30 mm for females, the Souther White Admiral is a small member of the Nymphalidae family. It has a widespread distribution extending from southern and central Europe to Turkey and Iran, with Palestine as its southern border. It glides and flutters among the wadis adjacent to the cliffs, where its preferred vegetation, Etruscan honeysuckle, is located. It can be found in altitudes up to 1000 meters above sea level. As a territorial butterfly it guards its territory from invaders.

They can be observed flying from April to mid-October and produces 3-4 generations in a year.

The upper wing is dark brown or black in color with a faint blue iridescence. There is a chain of small white spots at the wing margin and a chain of big white spots cross the forewing. There are two additional white spots on the forewing and a broad white band on the hind wing. On the margin of the hindwing is a chain of black and white spots.

The underside is orange and brown with nearly all the white spots from the upside as well as the broad white band on the hindwing. The marginal chain of white spots changes to a chain of black and orange spots on the forewing.. The marginal chain of black and white spots change to black spots. The body is whitish, but black from the upside The female is of a lighter shade and has larger or broader white markings.

The female lays singular eggs on Etruscan honeysuckle (Loncera etrusca). Each egg is greenish in color, hemispherical in shape, and with a height of 1 mm. The bristle covered surface has a honeycomb design on it.

The larva hatches at 2 mm and eats the egg. Its head is black and its body is brown-gray. It will grow to a maximum of 27 mm  with a green body .The suspended chrysalis is brownish –green and has a length of 20 mm.

IUCN conservation status: Least Concern

Picture Resource: By Harald Süpfle - photo taken by Harald SüpfleCC BY-SA 2.5Link