This distinctive butterfly was taking moisture through its long probosis when I came across it.The upper side is velvety black with an orangey-red stripe running through the forewing and on the hindwing margin. There are several white spots towards the wingtips. Wingspan 65mm.
The caterpillars feed mainly on Stinging Nettle.
It flies May to October, where they drink sap from trees and feed on over-ripe fruit which may leave them a little drunk and tame to gentle handling. A wide-ranging migratory butterfly, it is found almost anywhere where there are flowers and ripe fruit. Often common in parks, gardens, and orchards. An annual mass-migrant from southern Europe and North Africa, breeds in summer, and migrates back in the autumn.
Photograph taken of Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) August 2016, Boscome Gardens, Bournemouth, Dorset. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D3200, with Nikon 70-300mm telephoto zoom lens.