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female poplar admirals

Poplar Admiral, One of Earth’s Biggest Butterflies

Limenitis populi - Großer Eisvogel

Poplar Admiral (Limenitis populi) butterflies. Image via Wikipedia

Poplar Admiral (Limenitis populi) butterflies were once native to much of Europe and many parts in Asia. Now they are very rarely seen.

Size and Markings

Poplar Admiral butterflies are big! They are some of the largest butterflies in Europe.

The wingspread of male Poplar Admirals can be from 2.6 inches (6.6 cm) to 3 inches (7.7 cm). The females can be even larger: from 3.22 inches (8.2 cm) to 3.34 inches (8.5 cm).

The upper wing surface is dark brown with white spots. The white stripe is surrounded by orange and blue borders.

Female Poplar Admirals have distinct broad white lines over their back wings. The males either lack the lines or have lines that are narrower and fainter.

Notice the difference in markings between the male (top) and female (bottom) in the illustration on the right. 

The underside of the wings is light, orange (darker and less yellowish than in the illustration).

Where to Find Them

Poplar Admirals In Europe, they live in deciduous forests of aspen (Populus tremula) or black poplar (Populus nigra) trees grow because the caterpillars eat the leaves of only tree species. (more…)

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