Invasion of the Red Admiral Butterflies

No, it’s not as bad as it sounds. The Red Admiral butterfly does not keep you awake at night like the Cicada “tree cricket” nor do they damage any plants or vegetation. Burt Constable of the Daily Herald wrote an interesting article in Thursday’s paper that did a great job of explaining why we are seeing so many of these beautiful little creatures. When I was by my Mothers on Tuesday I had commented on the fact that there were so many Monarch butterflies around her home in Beach Park. I hadn’t gotten a close-up look at them and simply assumed by their colors that they were Monarchs.

Red Admiral butterfly seen on my lilac bush
Red Admiral butterfly seen on my lilac bush

After reading Burt’s article I realized that they were actually Red Admiral butterflies and due to the warm weather, they have arrived earlier than normal and in force. Butterfly expert, Doug Taron, told Constable that this specie is “known to have big population booms followed by big population busts” and that their numbers are up at least ten-fold from normal. They migrate here from the Gulf Coast and the adults die off as the cold weather sets in. New batches then hatch in the South and the process starts all over again. Taron mentioned to Constable that the warblers will have a nice spring “as they dine on the fat, juicy, and tempting red Admiral caterpillars that will be appearing soon”.

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