Red admiral caterpillar
from nzButterfly.info by Robert Arter–Williamson (c)
Vanessa gonerilla gonerilla Fabricius
- About 36mm long.
- endemic species.
- Two subspecies, gonerilla Fab. on main islands and near offshore islands, ida Alfken on Chatham Island
- Adult overwinters.
- Nectar plants such as Buddleia favoured by adults. Also seepage of sap from tree trunks eg beech.
- Caterpillars feed on stinging nettles, Urtica spp pulling the leaves together with a few silk strands to form a protective tent. Preferred foodplant Urtica ferox.