One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A migratory butterfly that has dark wings marked with red-orange bands and white spots.
Genus Vanessa, subfamily Nymphalinae, family Nymphalidae: several species, in particular the common and widespread V. atalanta
- ‘She was lying in the dust beneath a white buddleia, staring straight ahead, sniffing at red admirals and painted ladies as they fluttered past.’
- ‘Beds of nettles are slashed to the ground when the caterpillars of red admiral and other butterflies are hatching for next year's generation.’
- ‘All the way we were accompanied by electric blue and emerald green damsel flies and along the banks we spotted red admirals, painted ladies, peacocks, and mere common butterflies.’
- ‘Not just the usual cabbage whites this year, but tortoiseshells, red admirals, painted ladies and peacock butterflies too.’
- ‘I saw fritillaries, red admirals, and a couple of kinds of skippers up there this afternoon.’
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