Painted Lady Butterfly – Vanessa cardui

Painted Lady Butterfly – Vanessa cardui

Painted Lady Butterfly Vanessa cardui

Painted Lady Butterfly
Sweet Almond Blooms
Vanessa cardui

Blue Painted Lady Egg Vanessa cardui

Blue Painted Lady Egg
Green if caterpillar ate plant
Blue if caterpillar ate instant diet
Vanessa cardui

Painted Lady laying an egg on hollyhock Vanessa cardui

Painted Lady Butterfly
laying an egg on hollyhock
Vanessa cardui

Painted Lady Butterfly Eggs about to hatch Vanessa cardui

Painted Lady Butterfly
Dark eggs about to hatch
Vanessa cardui

Painted Lady Butterfly Caterpillar hatching Vanessa cardui

Painted Lady Butterfly
Caterpillar hatching
Vanessa cardui

Painted Lady Butterfly Young caterpillars Vanessa cardui

Painted Lady Butterfly
Young caterpillars
Vanessa cardui

Painted Lady Butterfly Caterpillar Vanessa cardui

Painted Lady Butterfly Caterpillar
Vanessa cardui

Painted Lady Butterfly Caterpillar Vanessa cardui

Painted Lady Butterfly
Caterpillar colors
Vanessa cardui

Painted Lady Butterfly Caterpillars about to pupate Vanessa cardui

Painted Lady Butterfly
Caterpillars about to pupate
Vanessa cardui

Painted Lady Butterfly Pre-pupa caterpillar Vanessa cardui

Painted Lady Butterfly
Pre-pupa caterpillar
Vanessa cardui

Painted Lady Butterfly Drinking from Pentas blooms Vanessa cardui

Painted Lady Butterfly
Drinking from Pentas blooms
Vanessa cardui

Painted Lady Butterfly  Vanessa cardui

Painted Lady Butterfly
Vanessa cardui

Painted Lady Butterfly Scales  Vanessa cardui

Painted Lady Butterfly Scales
Vanessa cardui

Painted Lady butterflies are medium size, approximately 2 to 2 1/2 inches from wing tip to wing tip. Their larval food plant list is longer than most butterflies. They commonly use some species of thistle as their primary host. They also lay eggs on hollyhock, mallow, and plantain (Plantago species, not the banana plantain).

If the adults were raised on plants, their eggs will be green. If the adults were raised on instant diet, their eggs will be blue.

This species is commonly used for kits and schools because a perfect instant diet is available for them. Unlike most butterfly species, one is not required to have host plants to feed caterpillars.

Like the other Vanessa butterflies, Red Admiral, American Lady, West Coast Lady, and more, they hang in a J before pupating.

After emerging and pumping their wings full of hemolymph, they will expel meconium. Painted Lady meconium is red and many people assume it is blood and that the butterfly was harmed. Not so; butterfly blood is yellow/green. It is essential that the adult butterflies expel this fluid from their digestive systems before beginning their active adult life, drinking nectar, pairing, and laying eggs.

Males court females so successfully that, when raising them indoors, females normally lay hundreds of fertile eggs. Many people raise several generations of Painted Lady butterflies for their own enjoyment.

Painted Lady butterflies are found in all 48 contiguous states.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>