White admiral Ladoga camilla

found at only a few Essex sites


Best time to see: early Jul to end Jul

Key facts

An elegant woodland butterfly, confined to southern England

Habitat: large woods that are fairly shady

Once reduced to a single Essex colony in Stour Wood, it has now spread to other woods

Recognition

Dusky brown upperside with a white band across both wings; underwings have a lighter, more intricate background

Spends long periods drinking aphid honeydew in the woodland canopy

Swift elegant flight of short flits and long glides; wingspan c. 6 cm

Lifecycle

Grey eggs looking like sea urchins laid singly on honeysuckle in late summer

Caterpillars with brown spines hibernate inside a doubled leaf from September until late May

Chrysalis hangs among honeysuckle looking like a half-dead rolled leaf, adults emerging mostly in July

  • Main photo

Photo © Iris Newbery