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White Admiral (Limenitis camilla)

On this page, we have made available all the information we have for this species

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Picture of White Admiral
© Eddie John

The White Admiral is a true woodland butterfly preferring shadier woodland than most butterfly species where its larvae feed on the straggly growth of Honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum) in the dappled shade of trees. The butterfly is continuing to expand its range in Britain. (For further details on this species see

Family : Nymphalidae

Status : Rapid decline

Status details :
Status since 1976 is Rapid decline with a decrease of -71.0%
Status over the last 20 years is Stable with a decrease of -21.8%
Status over the last 10 years is Stable with a decrease of -45.9%

Log collated index plot

Species Log Collated Index Plot

This chart shows the index of abundance (LCI = Log Collated Index) over time. It shows fluctuations in populations from year to year, and is scaled so that the average index over the whole series is equal to 2 (horizontal line). For greater detail about how this index is derived, click on the green question mark above.

Trend description :
Although the collated indices show large apparently cyclic fluctuations in the abundance of this species, the overall trend shows a highly significant decline. In addition, despite the observed northwards expansion of this species and colonisation of new sites in areas such as East Anglia, there has been an overall decline in distribution suggesting it is disappearing from a number of its former sites. Despite this a similar number of sites have shown increases to those showing declines and at a large number of sites the populations remain fairly stable.

This map shows the distribution between 1995 and 2016. Data is derived from the Butterflies for the New Millenium dataset via the NBN Gateway

Phenology plot
Species Phenology Plot

Phenology plot

This chart shows the average number of butterflies seen on transects between Arpil and October across all sites (fitted values from a Generalised Additive Model). The blue line gives average counts over the full BMS series (1976 to date) and the red line gives the average for the last year.

Species abundance map


This map shows symbols for the mean abundance at transect sites, with the colour of the symbol reflecting the level of abundance. Means are over all years. Grey background squares are the occupied cells as shown by the Butterflies for the New Millenium over the previous ten year period.


In total, White Admiral has been recorded from 304 transects in the Butterfly Monitoring Scheme. Of these, annual indices of abundance have been calculated from 287 sites, with an average index of 9 individuals per site.

For 140 of these sites, White Admiral has been recorded well enough to calculate annual indices of abundance in more years, allowing trends to be calculated.

In 2018, 2164 individuals were recorded from 114 sites, producing annual indices at 99 of these.

The UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme is organized and funded by Butterfly Conservation (BC), the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC). The UKBMS is indebted to all volunteers who contribute data to the scheme.