Species Profile

Weidemeyer's Admiral

Scientific Name: Limenitis weidemeyerii
Taxonomy Group: Arthropods
Range: Alberta
Last COSEWIC Assessment: May 2012
Last COSEWIC Designation: Special Concern
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Special Concern


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Quick Links: | Photo | Description | Distribution and Population | Habitat | Biology | Threats | Protection | National Recovery Program | Documents

Image of Weidemeyer's Admiral

Weidemeyer's Admiral Photo 1
Weidemeyer's Admiral Photo 2

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Description

Weidemeyer's Admiral is a relatively large, boldly patterned black and white butterfly. It has more white on its hind wing underside and reduced orange markings than the closely related Lorquin’s and White Admirals. As with related species, the larvae resemble bird droppings. The species represents a southern biogeographical element at the northern limit of its range along the Milk River, and is an important model for the study of speciation and mimicry. (Updated 2017/05/24)

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Distribution and Population

Weidemeyer’s Admiral is found in western North America from southern Alberta to northern Mexico. In Canada, it is known from seven sites in the Milk River and Lost River area along the Alberta-Montana border. Targeted searches for this species have been conducted in 2004 and 2011 but large areas of potentially suitable habitat have not been surveyed and additional occurrences may yet be found. (Updated 2017/05/24)

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Habitat

In Canada, Weidemeyer’s Admiral is found along valley bottoms, ravines, and coulees along the Milk and Lost rivers where the larval host plant, Saskatoon, is found. Cottonwood and other deciduous trees and shrubs provide shelter and perch sites for adults, and structural support for their major nectar source, Western Clematis which is a vine. Weidemeyer’s Admiral will also use small patches of Chokecherry and Saskatoon in ravines and coulees some distance from the nearest treed riparian habitats. (Updated 2017/05/24)

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Biology

All Canadian populations appear to have one generation per year. Saskatoon is the only confirmed larval host plant in Canada, although Chokecherry, willows and other shrubs might be used. Late instar larvae overwinter in a rolled-up leaf and emerge in the spring to continue feeding. In Canada, the adult flight period is from early June through late July. (Updated 2017/05/24)

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Threats

Invasive species, particularly Russian Olive and Saltcedar, may soon change the ecology of woody riparian communities to the detriment of Weidemeyer’s Admiral. Overgrazing by livestock could be a potential threat by reducing habitat quality and incidental ingestion or trampling of larvae. (Updated 2017/05/24)

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Protection

Federal Protection

More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.

Provincial and Territorial Protection

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.

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Recovery Progress and Activities

Summary of Progress to Date Conservation strategies for individual ranches have been developed and implemented on some private ranches which contain habitat of the Weidemeyer’s Admiral. Summary of Recovery Activities Meetings are being held to inform the public about species at risk, such as the Weidemeyer’s Admiral. Workshops are being held with land owners to discuss management practices that would be beneficial for this butterfly.

Documents

PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.

6 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Weidemeyer's Admiral Limenitis weidemeyerii in Canada (2013)

    Weidemeyer's Admiral is a relatively large, boldly patterned black and white butterfly. It has more white on its hind wing underside and reduced orange markings than the closely related Lorquin’s and White Admirals. As with related species, the larvae resemble bird droppings. The species represents a southern biogeographical element at the northern limit of its range along the Milk River, and is an important model for the study of speciation and mimicry.

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Weidemeyer's Admiral (2013)

    This large butterfly has a small Canadian population and is restricted to valleys and prairie coulees of southern Alberta. The threat of invasive Russian Olive and Saltcedar that outcompete the butterfly’s larval host plant is predicted to increase. 

Management Plans

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2011-2012 (2012)

    Under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to “assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species”. COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings in this reporting year (September 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012) from November 21 to 25, 2011 and from April 29 to May 4, 2012. On February 3, 2012, an Emergency Assessment Subcommittee of COSEWIC also assessed the status of the Tri-colored Bat (Perimyotis subflavus), the Little Brown Myotis (Myotis lucifugus), and the Northern Myotis (Myotis septentrionalis). During the current reporting period COSEWIC assessed the status or reviewed the classification of 67 wildlife species. For species already found on Schedule 1 of SARA, the classification of 32 species was reviewed by COSEWIC and the status of the wildlife species was confirmed to be in the same category (extirpated - no longer found in the wild in Canada but occurring elsewhere, endangered, threatened or of special concern). The wildlife species assessment results for the 2011-2012 reporting period include the following: Extinct: 1 Extirpated: 4 Endangered: 29 Threatened: 10 Special Concern: 15 Data Deficient: 2 Not at Risk: 6 Total: 67 Of the 67 wildlife species examined, COSEWIC reviewed the classification of 49 species that had been previously assessed. The review of classification for 26 of those species resulted in a confirmation of the same status as the previous assessment (see Table 1a).

Consultation Documents

  • Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species – December 2012 (2013)

    As part of its strategy for protecting wildlife species at risk, the Government of Canada proclaimed the Species at Risk Act (SARA) on June 5, 2003. Attached to the Act is Schedule 1, the list of the species that receive protection under SARA, also called the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. Please submit your comments by March 4, 2013, for terrestrial species undergoing normal consultations and by October 4, 2013, for terrestrial species undergoing extended consultations. Consultation paths.

Recovery Document Posting Plans

  • Environment and Climate Change Canada's Three-Year Recovery Document Posting Plan (2016)

    Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Three-Year Recovery Document Posting Plan identifies the species for which recovery documents will be posted each fiscal year starting in 2014-2015. Posting this three year plan on the Species at Risk Public Registry is intended to provide transparency to partners, stakeholders, and the public about Environment and Climate Change Canada’s plan to develop and post these proposed recovery strategies and management plans. However, both the number of documents and the particular species that are posted in a given year may change slightly due to a variety of circumstances. Last update March 31, 2017