Red admiral butterfly emerges!

Newborn Red Admiral Butterfly!

Newborn Red Admiral Butterfly!

We released our second red admiral butterfly of 2013 this morning. I checked on it at 7 a.m. and it was still dripping and drying. About a half hour later, the beauty was flapping its wings and ready for release! Just gorgeous. The red admiral uses Pennsylvania pellitory, which grows wild in my garden, as its host plant.

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The newly emerged red admiral butterfly hangs onto the plant to dry. Excess fluid drips from its abdomen. The empty chrysalis hangs at the left. This butterfly looks like tree bark when its wings are closed.

The newly emerged red admiral butterfly hangs onto the plant to dry. Excess fluid drips from its abdomen. The empty chrysalis hangs at the left. This butterfly looks like tree bark when its wings are closed.

The red admiral chrysalis is decorated with a line of gold specks. Chrysalis means gold in Greek. These spots shine in the sun.

The red admiral chrysalis is decorated with a line of gold specks. Chrysalis means gold in Greek. These spots shine in the sun.

The spiky red admiral caterpillar eats for two weeks like most other caterpillars.

The spiky red admiral caterpillar eats for two weeks like most other caterpillars.

The red admiral caterpillar hangs in a "J" position (just like the monarch caterpillar) when it has finished eating and is ready to become a chrysalis. What's fun about red admiral caterpillars is that they silk themselves within the foliage of their host plant (Pennsylvania pellitory in this case) when they are eating and when they make a J. They like to hide! I had to peel back a leaf to take this photo.

The red admiral caterpillar hangs in a "J" position (just like the monarch caterpillar) when it has finished eating and is ready to become a chrysalis. What's fun about red admiral caterpillars is that they silk themselves within the foliage of their host plant (Pennsylvania pellitory in this case) when they are eating and when they make a J. They like to hide! I had to peel back a leaf to take this photo.

The small green globe above my fingertip on the plant is one of the first red admiral eggs we found this season.

The small green globe above my fingertip on the plant is one of the first red admiral eggs we found this season.