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Y fantell goch
Red Admiral

(Vanessa atalanta)

This is a common butterfly which can be seen anywhere in North Wales including the summits of the highest mountains. Although it is now know that the species can overwinter, in any of the four life stages (at least in South England), most of our butterflies originate abroad and start arriving in favourable weather conditions in the spring. These individuals can then breed and the resulting offspring, together with further waves of immigrants, result in very large numbers in late summer and early autumn. There is clear evidence for a reverse migration so, for some individuals at least, the trip to North Wales may not be entirely futile, as appears to be the case for the Painted Lady.
The caterpillars are easy to find on nettle patches. Look for two leaves that are spun together face to face.