Introduction to Vanessid Butterflies

The Vanessid butterflies in the Nymphalidae sub family Nymphalinae are shown in the galleries below together with links to species pages for more information.

The 5 Vanessid species found in the British Isles are some of the most commonly seen butterflies. Two of the species, The Red Admiral and Painted Lady are predomianely migrant species and unable to survive the cold winters. Although in recent mild winters Red Admiral caterpillars have been successfully overwintering in the mildest parts of England.

The Camberwell Beauty and the once resident Large Tortoiseshell are two species recorded as migrants to the UK in small numbers but haven’t been recorded breeding in recent times.

Butterflies from two of the other sub families, Admirals Limenitidinae and Emperors Apaturinae are shown at the bottom of this page.

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

The Red Admiral Butterfly species page has images and descriptions of the butterfly and its life cycle including caterpillar and pupa.

Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)

The Painted Lady Butterfly species page has images and descriptions of the butterfly and its life cycle including caterpillar and pupa.

Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae)

The Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly species page has images and descriptions of the butterfly and its life cycle including caterpillar and pupa.

Peacock (Inachis io)

The Peacock Butterfly species page has images and descriptions of the butterfly and its life cycle including caterpillar and pupa.

Comma (Polygonia c-album)

The Comma Butterfly species page has images and descriptions of the butterfly and its life cycle including caterpillar and pupa.

White Admiral (Limentis camilla)

This butterfly is from the sub family Limenitidinae.

Awaiting images.

Purple Emperor (Apatura iris)

This butterfly is from the sub family Apaturinae.

Awaiting images.

Other butterfly galleries: