Vanessa vulcania

Red Admiral (Vanessa vulcania )

The Canary Red Admiral ( Vanessa vulcania ) is a butterfly ( butterfly ) of the genus Vanessa, belongs to the family of the Nymphalidae ( Nymphalidae ).

  • 6.1 Literature


The moths reach a wingspan of 50 to 60 millimeters. The front wings are in Disk Alber calibration colored black with four very different sizes, relatively small white spots. For wing approach towards follows a crooked, red band with three different sized, roughly triangular, black spots. The wing root is brown. The hind wings are mostly brown in color, only towards the outer edge, they have a red zone with black dots. This is limited to the brown area usually by a black line. The wing margin is indented several times. The only slightly extended tips are black. At the distal point of the inner edge of the rear blade is located a small elongated blue mirror.

Similar Species

The differences of the Canary Admirals to the Indian Admiral are low, therefore it is considered by some authors even as a subspecies of the Indian admiral. The distal white patch of V. vulcania is dissolved in V. indica in a row of dots. The more proximal white spots are slightly larger in the Indian admiral. The red band is slightly narrower. On the hind wings the black spots are a little stronger in the red zone.

Good distinguishable from the Canary Admiral is the " ordinary " Admiral, whose black zone of the fore wings is much larger. The white spots in it are also significantly greater. For this is the red band considerably narrower and without black spots.


The moth is found only on the Canary Islands El Hierro, La Gomera, La Palma, Tenerife and Gran Canaria and Madeira. He is a common butterfly. The animals live from about sea level to 1,700 m altitude in somewhat neglected farmland and in gardens, as well as in the zone of the laurel forest on Madeira.

In some specimens the species is found already in Thuringia ( Gerisch, 1978). Since the Canary Admiral is not known as a migrant butterfly, but an active immigration of moths seems unlikely to Central Europe. It has been suggested an introduction with vegetables from the Canary Islands. However, the first specimens were reported as early as the 1930s, when the import of vegetables certainly played no significant role from the Canary Islands to Germany. Thus, the evidence of the Canary Admirals in Germany remain a mystery.

Way of life

The caterpillars feed on nettle family. In the deeper zones of vegetation, this is the home in continental Europe too small nettle (Urtica urens ), in the laurel forest in the Canary Islands endemic Maulbeerblättrige nettle (Urtica morifolia ).

Flight time

The whole year round The type flies in several generations.

Taxonomic status

Some authors consider the Canary Admiral merely as a subspecies of the Indian Admiral ( Vanessa indica as vulcania ). In the Fauna Europaea he will, however, operate as an independent nature and this view is followed here.