V. atalanta ovapositing on Prince Edward Island, Canada

William Oehlke oehlkew at islandtelecom.com
Tue May 8 18:02:37 EDT 2001

I guess spring has finally arrived on Prince Edward Island, Canada.  I saw my first butterfly of the season, a female V. atalanta, ovapositing on fresh nettle growth only a few centimeters high.
Only a few meters from the nettle patch, snow is still on the ground shaded by the woods.
Fresh eggs are a vibrant torquoise and she was ovapositing on upper surfaces as well as on the undersides of the sprouting foliage.
I rear several batches of red admirals here each spring/summer and usually release a great many butterflies in the fall.  This fall I will try marking some to see if they are hibernating in the immediate area.  Pictures of previous years' larvae, pupae and adults can be seen at
Quite interesting to watch the female scour the area, sorting out the nettle sprouts from the other short new growth.  Right hind wing looked like it had been snapped by a bird.

If this response has been helpful or if you have enjoyed the pictures and information on one of my websites, please go to
and click on the flashing butterfly. This helps to promote my sites.  

Bill Oehlke
Box 476, Montague, P.E.I., Canada C0A 1R0
oehlkew at islandtelecom.com
Phone: 902-838-3455
fax: 902-838-0866
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