American Painted Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)
Nymphalidae The American Painted Lady is a species of common North American butterflies with bright coloration. They are mostly seen during the springtime flying relatively lower, close to the ground level.
Description and Identification
The larva has alternate patches in off white and black, with two white spots on each of the black parts, along with thin white lines in black on the off white parts. There are hairy protrusions all over the body.
- Family: Nymphalidae
- Genus: Vanessa
- Common names: American Lady
- Scientific Name: (Vanessa (Cynthia) virginiensis)
The chrysalis is light brown with lines of lighter spots on the body. They spend the entire winter months in this form and come out only when the weather is sunny and bright.
Sexual Dimorphism: Not present
Color and Appearance: When the wings are open, the upper side shows uneven yellow, brown and orange coloration. The forewings show a black mark along with a white spot below it, a white bar by the edge of the forewing. When the wings are closed, the undersides of the hindwings exhibit a pair of large eyespots.
Average wingspan: 5 cm (2 inches)
Flight pattern: medium pace and erratic
Females lay their eggs singly on the top of the host plant leaves
|Distribution||Throughout North America|
|Habitat||Opening having less vegetation including parks, vacant lots, forest edges, dunes, meadows, etc.|
|Host plants||Plants in the sunflower family, pearly everlasting, plantain-leaved pussytoes, wormwood, ironweed, and burdock|
|Adult diet||Flower nectar|
Did You Know?
- These butterflies turn smaller and paler in the winter, while in the summer, they are larger and brighter.