Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)
The painted lady butterfly is a colorful species found in almost every continent apart from Antarctica and South America.
Description and Identification
The larvae have a greyish brown body while at the ends they attain a darker shade. Yellow stripes run behind their back patterned with spikes and curves.
They can vary in color, being bluish-white, metallic green or brown. They remain in the chrysalis stage between 7 and 10 days after which they develop into adults.
Sexual Dimorphism: Present
Color and Appearance: When opened, the upper part of the wings are orangish-brown with black patches and white spots on the top. When the wings are closed the undersides are gray, black and brown marbled pattern with four black spots at the center.
Average wingspan: 5.1 cm to 7.3 cm
Flight pattern: Fast anderratic
The eggs are oval and green in color.
|Distribution||On all continents apart from Antarctica and South America; In Australia it is found in Fremantle, Rottnest Island and Bunbury;|
|Habitat||Areas which are opened, sunny and lit brightly like old fields, dunes and gardens|
|Lifespan of adults||10-24 days post pupation|
|Host plants||Hollyhock,silver brocade Artemisia, and Pearly Everlasting|
|Adult diet||Nectar from plants like thistles, blazing star, cosmos, joe-pye weed, aster and ironweed|
Did You Know
- They feed on more than 300 host plants.
- This species are even referred to as Thistle butterfly as this is what the caterpillars thrive on.
- It has a speed of about 30 miles an hour which thus allows it to travel approximately 100 miles a day when it is migrating.