I always seem to find the most beautiful additions to my bug collection when I spend a few days at home! My dad spotted this one lounging on the side of our house while we were sitting on the porch. Lying with his wings flat against the brick wall the iridescent aqua and teal colors caught my eye, but it wasn't until my dachshund, Snickers, sniffed the butterfly that he lifted his wings showing off the brilliant orange spots in defense. The Red-spotted Purple Admiral (Limenitis Arthemis) mimics the poisonous Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly in design so predators will be less likely to attack.
These butterflies are common throughout most of the eastern United States and since males perch 3 feet or more above ground on trees, tall bushes, or dirt and rarely patrol for the slightly larger females, I think this one was definitely a boy since he was alone and sitting about four feet off the cement on the brick wall. I was thrilled when he stayed in his stance and allowed me to get a close as I wanted, resulting in some bold and vibrant photographs of him! He is a beautiful addition of my bug collection for a hot summer day after 17 days straight of rain in North Carolina!