Limenitis populi (Poplar Admiral, Großer Eisvogel, Le Grand Sylvain)

Limenitis populi, also called Poplar Admiral or Großer Eisvogel is a great, but rare butterfly from Palaearctic ecozone (Europe). The first description was in 1758 by Linnaeus. With a wingspan of 7.0 – 8.0 cm the Poplar Admiral is a small member of the family NYMPHALIDAE. The butterfly is dark brown or black with white and orange spots and a white band.

Photos for easy identification

Photo © by Mario Maier ([email protected])
Photo © by Mario Maier ([email protected])
Photo © by Rudolf Faustmann
Photo © by Rudolf Faustmann

These are nice photos of Limenitis populi (Poplar Admiral, Großer Eisvogel, Le Grand Sylvain). Limenitis populi is a member of the family NYMPHALIDAE from Palaearctic (Europe).

Photo © by Mario Maier ([email protected])
Lower Austria

Here you can see the underside of the Poplar Admiral, which is sit on excrement.


The forewings are dark brown or black. At the margin there is a chain of little blue spots and a chain of little orange spots. There is a chain of big white spots, which is crossing the wing. There is one separate white spot at the wing leading edge.
The underside is orange. All white spots from upside are also there. There is a dark area in back.

The hind wings are dark brown or black. The margin is ridged. At the margin there are two blue lines and one chain of orange spots. There is a broad white band on the wing.
The underside is orange. At the margin there is a white and bluish area. Between this area and the broad white band there is a chain of little black spots. Around the body there is a white and bluish area.

The body is whitish, but from upside it is black.

Sex differences: The female is dark brown and all white spots and the band are broader than the spots and bands from male. Some males are very dark and they have no white band on hind wing.


The Poplar Admiral (Limenitis populi) is a big, but rare butterfly of the Palaearctic ecozone (Europe and Asia). The distribution include whole Palaearctic ecozone without the North of Africa, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Afganistan and Japan. You can see the Poplar Admiral until 1500 m sea level.

This world map shows the ecozones in which this butterfly is distributed.

Flight period

The flight period of the Poplar Admiral is from June to July. There is only one brood per year.

Larval food

Aspen, Trembling Poplar

General information

The first description of this butterfly was in 1758 by Linnaeus. There are some subspecies.

The caterpillar is green and has two thorny warts. The pupa has no silken girdl. This species overwinters as caterpillar.

The distribution of Poplar Admiral overlap with the distributions of the White Admiral (Limenitis camilla) and the Southern White Admiral (Limenitis reducta).
The following differentiators are very useful to differ these similar species.

Protection provisions / Red List

Similar and closely-related species

Limenitis camilla [Linnaeus, 1764] (White Admiral, Kleiner Eisvogel, Le Petit Sylvain)

Limenitis reducta [Staudinger, 1901] (Soutern White Admiral, Blauschwarzer Eisvogel, Le Sylvain Azure)

Neptis rivularis [Scopoli, 1763] (Hungarian Glider, Trauerfalter)

Scientific name

Limenitis populi Linnaeus 1758


 Poplar Admiral
 Großer Eisvogel
 Le Grand Sylvain
 Aspfjäril, Aspfurste
Grote ijsvogelvlinder
 Pokłonnik osinowic
Bělopásek topolový

Classification / Taxonomy / Family tree

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Back to family Nymphalidae from PALAEARCTIC (EUROPE)


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