Red Admiral hibernation

Morten Dewald Drøgemüller Hansen dd at
Sat Jan 16 10:34:24 EST 1999

Hi Leps-netters

Following the posting by Martin Honey, I would like to emphasize that Red
Admirals (Vanessa atalanta) and Painted Ladies (Vanessa cardui) do not
hibernate. They are inactive because of low temperatures but as soon as
temperatures rise, the butterflies will become active. Hibernation shows a
dramatic decline in metabolic activity which is not the case for atalanta
and cardui.

The Red Admiral and many other large Nymphalid butterflies enter a
reproductive diapause when autumn arrives. Hibernation is a part of this
reproductive diapause in P. c-album, N. antiopa, A. urticae and I. io, but
atalanta and cardui migrate south, escaping winter in space rather than

kind regards
Morten DD Hansen
Dept. of Zoology
University of Aarhus

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