Attributes of Vanessa cardui

Painted Lady
Vanessa cardui (Linnaeus, 1758)

Family: Nymphalidae
Subfamily: Nymphalinae
Identification: Upperside is orange-brown with darker wing bases; forewing with black apex patch and white bar on leading edge; hindwing submarginal row of 5 small black spots sometimes has blue scales. Underside has a black, brown, and gray pattern with 4 small submarginal eyespots.
Wing Span: 2 - 2 7/8 inches (5.1 - 7.3 cm).
Life History: Males perch and patrol during the afternoon for receptive females. In the West males usually perch on shrubs on hilltops, while in the East males perch on bare ground in open areas. Females lay eggs singly on the tops of host plant leaves. Caterpillars live in silk nests and eat leaves. Adults hibernate only in the South and in mild winters.
Flight: One to three flights in the East from May-October, three to four flights in South Texas from October-April.
Caterpillar Hosts: More than 100 host plants have been noted; favorites include thistles (Asteraceae), hollyhock and mallow (Malvaceae), and various legumes (Fabaceae).
Adult Food: The Painted Lady prefers nectar from composites 3-6 feet high, especially thistles; also aster, cosmos, blazing star, ironweed, and joe-pye weed. Flowers from other families that are visited include red clover, buttonbush, privet, and milkweeds.
Habitat: Almost everywhere, especially in open or disturbed areas including gardens, old fields, dunes.
Range: On all continents except Australia and Antarctica. From the deserts of northern Mexico, the Painted Lady migrates and temporarily colonizes the United States and Canada south of the Arctic. Occasionally, population explosions in Mexico will cause massive northward migrations. Comments: The Painted Lady is also known as the Thistle Butterfly because of the caterpillars' food preference and also as the Cosmopolitan because it is the most widely distributed butterfly in the world.
Conservation: Not required.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: None reported.
Taxonomy Notes:

Images of Vanessa cardui

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Vanessa cardui - Vanessa-cardui-dorsal-Queener-crop.jpg
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Vanessa cardui - Vanessa-cardui-dorsal-2-Queener-crop.jpg





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Vanessa cardui - Vanessa_carduiKsGrantJuly1-05CarolAdams-crop.jpg
Vanessa cardui - Vanessa_carduiKsGrantJuly1-05CarolAdams-cropv.jpg

Vanessa cardui - Vanessa_carduiKsGrantJuly1-05CarolAdams-cropv.jpg
Vanessa cardui - Vanessa_carduiKsGrantSept26-05CarolAdams-cropd.jpg

Vanessa cardui - Vanessa_carduiKsGrantSept26-05CarolAdams-cropd.jpg
Vanessa cardui - Vanessa_cardui2.jpg

Vanessa cardui - Vanessa_cardui2.jpg
Vanessa cardui - Vanessa_cardui.jpg

Vanessa cardui - Vanessa_cardui.jpg



The map below displays all BAMONA data for this species and has three different data layers:
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There are also three base layers: 1. Satellite    2. Normal   3. Hybrid

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*The orange dots on the map provide access to information about the 400 most recently verified sightings of this species. Sometimes, there are several records at the same location. Use the table view to access these records.

By default, the fifty most recently verified sightings are below. Sort by Observation Date to see the most recent sightings, or filter the sightings by region to get a regional list.

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Observation Date Submitter Region Verified Datesort icon
July 11, 2009 Aisling Benton County, Oregon, United States October 20, 2014 Details
September 21, 2014 wade.deyoung Montgomery County, Maryland, United States October 18, 2014 Details
October 17, 2014 stephen stedman Putnam County, Tennessee, United States October 18, 2014 Details
September 22, 2014 Mapper Johnson County, Illinois, United States October 18, 2014 Details
October 04, 2014 Nancee Cobb Bay County, Florida, United States October 16, 2014 Details
September 05, 2014 tjrickert Kern County, California, United States October 14, 2014 Details
July 06, 2014 Jeanne Dammarell Lincoln County, Washington, United States October 14, 2014 Details
October 04, 2014 Cat Jackson County, Missouri, United States October 11, 2014 Details
October 08, 2014 stephen stedman Hardeman County, Tennessee, United States October 11, 2014 Details
October 08, 2014 Doug Bruce McNairy County, Tennessee, United States October 11, 2014 Details
October 07, 2014 S. J. Stedman Coahoma County, Mississippi, United States October 08, 2014 Details
September 20, 2014 mathgeek Jackson County, Illinois, United States October 07, 2014 Details
September 29, 2014 michael.blaalid Davison County, South Dakota, United States October 06, 2014 Details
October 05, 2014 stephen stedman Benton County, Tennessee, United States October 06, 2014 Details
September 24, 2014 Beverly Carter Baxter County, Arkansas, United States October 04, 2014 Details
October 04, 2014 stephen stedman Houston County, Tennessee, United States October 04, 2014 Details
September 23, 2014 mellielong Lincoln County, West Virginia, United States October 03, 2014 Details
September 17, 2014 John LeBlanc Chesterfield County, Virginia, United States October 02, 2014 Details
September 17, 2014 John LeBlanc Chesterfield County, Virginia, United States October 02, 2014 Details
September 26, 2014 krancmm Brazoria County, Texas, United States October 02, 2014 Details
October 01, 2014 krancmm Brazoria County, Texas, United States October 02, 2014 Details
October 02, 2014 stephen stedman Sequatchie County, Tennessee, United States October 02, 2014 Details
September 28, 2014 systanfield Richland County, South Carolina, United States September 29, 2014 Details
September 27, 2014 Jane Banks Ontario, Canada September 29, 2014 Details
September 27, 2014 systanfield Richland County, South Carolina, United States September 28, 2014 Details
September 27, 2014 maria.hoffman6@gmail.com Suffolk County, New York, United States September 27, 2014 Details
September 24, 2014 CA Ivy Sebastian County, Arkansas, United States September 25, 2014 Details
September 21, 2014 maria.hoffman6@gmail.com Suffolk County, New York, United States September 23, 2014 Details
September 18, 2014 stephen stedman DeKalb County, Tennessee, United States September 20, 2014 Details
September 16, 2014 CA Ivy Sebastian County, Arkansas, United States September 20, 2014 Details
September 17, 2014 maria.hoffman6@gmail.com Suffolk County, New York, United States September 18, 2014 Details
September 12, 2014 rbuist Manitoba, Canada September 14, 2014 Details
August 07, 2014 giardini57 Elbert County, Georgia, United States September 12, 2014 Details
September 11, 2014 maria.hoffman6@gmail.com Suffolk County, New York, United States September 12, 2014 Details
September 03, 2014 stephen stedman Lake County, Tennessee, United States September 08, 2014 Details
September 01, 2014 Lila J Snohomish County, Washington, United States September 03, 2014 Details
August 14, 2014 JAKros Pottawattamie County, Iowa, United States September 01, 2014 Details
September 01, 2014 systanfield Richland County, South Carolina, United States September 01, 2014 Details
August 11, 2014 jasers Wake County, North Carolina, United States August 28, 2014 Details
August 27, 2014 krancmm Brazoria County, Texas, United States August 28, 2014 Details
August 26, 2014 hmclin York County, Pennsylvania, United States August 27, 2014 Details
August 25, 2014 krancmm Brazoria County, Texas, United States August 25, 2014 Details
August 16, 2014 Doug Bruce Overton County, Tennessee, United States August 22, 2014 Details
August 10, 2014 Carol Thornton-Anderson Edgar County, Illinois, United States August 22, 2014 Details
August 20, 2014 stomlins701 Leon County, Florida, United States August 22, 2014 Details
July 31, 2014 BeaLaporte Ontario, Canada August 22, 2014 Details
August 19, 2014 Carol Thornton-Anderson Champaign County, Illinois, United States August 21, 2014 Details
August 18, 2014 EPIMEDIUM McHenry County, Illinois, United States August 19, 2014 Details
August 19, 2010 chaseystarz Cowley County, Kansas, United States August 17, 2014 Details
August 13, 2014 gunhilda Payne County, Oklahoma, United States August 13, 2014 Details