Red Admiral Population Explosion

Red Admiral Butterfly

The Red Admiral butterfly (Vanessa atalanta) population has been doing very well this year in Iowa.

Not only has Iowa’s overall numbers of Red Admiral been higher than normal, but there have also been some very impressive localized population explosions.

Last month one of these large population events occurred just west of Luther on E57 where the road crosses the Des Moines River. During this flight event, tens of thousands of Red Admirals could be observed along the roadway and in the surrounding areas.

It will be interesting to see if later yet this summer, as the offspring of this brood goes through their life-cycle to adults, we see another large adult population in the area.