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What is a Lorquin’s Admiral (Limenitis lorquini)

Lorquin’s Admiral (Limenitis lorquini)

Lorquin’s Admiral Overview

Lorquin’s Admiral is a butterfly found predominately on the western side of North America with an overwhelming majority of their population residing in the United States. These butterflies were named after French naturalist Pierre Joseph Michel Lorquin who came to the United States during the Gold Rush.

The Lorquin’s Admiral butterfly shares similarities to the White Admiral and Weidemeyer’s Admiral butterfly as all three of them have mostly black wings with white patterning.

What is a Lorquin's Admiral (Limenitis lorquini)

A Lorquin’s Admiral butterfly on a leaf


  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Lepidoptera
  • Family: Nymphalidae
  • Genus: Limenitis
  • Species: L. lorquini

Size and Body Description

Lorquin’s Admiral butterflies have brown and black, or even a blackish brown, color to them with a row of white spots on both the forewing and the hindwing that create a crescent shape. The wings in the front, also known as the forewings, have orange tips which stretch until it meets the white spots. The coloration under the wings mimics the top except it’s lighter in color more of a light brown or red-brown rather than dark.


Lorquin’s Admiral butterflies can grow to have a wingspan that is around 1.8 to 2.7 inches in length from wingtip to wingtip.


Lorquin’s Admiral butterflies have a standard butterfly diet of various flower nectars from the yerba santa, buckeye, and privet plants while also feeding on bird droppings and dung. As caterpillars, they will feed on the foliage of the host plant when their eggs were laid. Some of the host plants you can expect to find caterpillars on include wild cherry and cottonwood trees, willows, and various orchard trees.


Lorquin’s Admiral butterflies will hatch and fly multiple waves, or broods, during the year from April to October. Butterflies living further north will typically only have one wave of butterflies whereas those living in the southern regions can have multiple.


Lorquin’s Admiral butterflies can be found in Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Montana, and a small section of central western Utah near the border. These butterflies can also be found in British Columbia and Alberta towards the United States and Canadian border.


Lorquin’s Admiral butterflies have a stable population and are not federally protected to help preserve their numbers.

References Used

Lorquin’s Admiral (Limenitis lorquini)