A Red Admiral butterfly (Vanessa atalanta) was spotted on 15 September 2014 along the boardwalk in the hemi-marsh at Huntley Meadows Park.

Look closely at the full-size version of the following photo. The marbled pastel colors on the ventral side (underside) of the Red Admiral’s wings are beautifully understated, distinctly different from the high-contrast colors on its dorsal side.

Red Admiral butterfly (Vanessa atalanta)

According to Kevin Munroe, park manager, Red Admiral butterflies prefer to feed on minerals rather than nectar. Salt in sweat and the minerals in animal scat are among the Red Admiral’s favorite foods. In this case, the butterfly was feeding on a faint scat stain on the boardwalk railing.

Red Admiral butterfly (Vanessa atalanta)

Aw, why so sad, Mr. Droopy antennae?

Red Admiral butterfly (Vanessa atalanta)

Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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