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White admiral

White admiral

This uncommon species is found in the larger woodlands of the New Forest, particularly in the eastern half.

In the UK white admirals are only found in England and they occur in almost all the southern counties, although Hampshire, Sussex and Surrey are the species’ strongholds.

White admirals breed in the majority of the deciduous woodlands within and around the National Park. They lay their eggs on honeysuckle leaves, which are common in these woodlands. The adults fly in July and August and the best place to look for them is along sunny rides in the deciduous inclosures. They have a strong flight and will sometimes come and investigate, or even mob, people walking through their territory.

Photo: Simon Curzon

ID Tip


White admirals are very distinctive: black with a white stripe across the wing. The only similar species is the purple emperor. White admirals have black spots in the orangey areas on the underside of the hindwing and purple emperors do not. Purple emperors are also larger and the males have an iridescent purple sheen.

Lead Ranger


'To help ground nesting birds rear their young safely, keep yourself, dogs and ridden horses on the main tracks from the beginning of March to the end of July.'

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