New Zealand red admiral

Vanessa gonerilla gonerilla

Summary 3

The New Zealand Red Admiral (Vanessa gonerilla) is a butterfly that is endemic to New Zealand. The Māori name is kahukura which means red cloak. The Red Admiral is a member of the family Nymphalidae, the sub-family Nymphalinae as well as the tribe Nymphalini.

Description 4

Although the differences between the red admiral and yellow admiral are obvious when viewing the top of the wings, it can often be difficult to tell them apart from photos of the closed wings. but if part of the underside of the fore-wing is visible, here are the tell tale differences:
Red Admiral
Yellow Admiral.
The top arrow points to the the band which is all white/cream in yellow admirals, but becomes progressively pink in red admirals (but note that if only a small portion is visible, none of the pink may be visible). The second arrow points to a small region that is reddish in yellow admirals, but a much darker brown hue in red admirals.

Also look at the last two ocelli (eye spots) on the hindwings. In V gonerilla there are two that are heavily contoured with black scales, in V. itea just one.

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Tony Wills, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA),
  2. (c) Jon Sullivan, some rights reserved (CC BY), uploaded by Jon Sullivan
  3. Adapted by Tony Wills from a work by (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA),
  4. (c) Tony Wills, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)

More Info

iNaturalist NZ Map