White admiral

White admiral

White admiral ©Tom Hibbert

White admiral

Scientific name: Limenitis camilla
The White admiral is a striking black-and-white butterfly with a delicate flight that includes long glides. It prefers shady woodlands where it feeds on Bramble.

Species information


Wingspan: 5.6-6.6cm

Conservation status

Priority Species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework.

When to see

June to August


The White admiral is a medium-sized butterfly found in shady woodlands, clearings and rides in late summer. Adults are often found on the flowers of Bramble and lay their eggs on Honeysuckle leaves, which the caterpillars feed on. Usually seen in ones or twos, it is never very common, but is widespread in southern England.

How to identify

The White admiral is a black butterfly with distinctive white bands on the wings and a gingery-brown underside. It has a characteristic flight pattern of short periods of wingbeats followed by long glides. The similar Purple emperor is larger.


Found in southern England.

Did you know?

There is usually only one brood of White admirals per year, with adults emerging in June and July. Eggs are laid in late summer, and the new larvae wrap themselves in a silken leaf shelter for the winter.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many woodland nature reserves sympathetically for the benefit of all kinds of butterflies, including the White Admiral. A mix of coppicing, scrub-cutting, ride maintenance and non-intervention all help woodland wildlife to thrive. You can help too: volunteer for your local Wildlife Trust and you could be involved in everything from traditional forest crafts to surveying for butterflies.