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:
1. All records (yellow dots)   2. Recently verified records (orange dots)*   3. US county records (purple)

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 15, 2014 Sue Orlowski Spokane County, Washington, United States July 24, 2014 Details
July 15, 2014 Sue Orlowski Spokane County, Washington, United States July 22, 2014 Details
July 18, 2014 Bill Link Baltimore County, Maryland, United States July 20, 2014 Details
November 05, 2007 roseanna Pulaski County, Kentucky, United States July 19, 2014 Details
July 12, 2014 John Wilson Socorro County, New Mexico, United States July 18, 2014 Details
July 07, 2014 Sue Orlowski Spokane County, Washington, United States July 14, 2014 Details
August 23, 2012 Jake a Bob Bradford County, Pennsylvania, United States July 13, 2014 Details
July 01, 2014 jukebox junction Pierce County, Washington, United States July 10, 2014 Details
July 02, 2014 Kimberly Mrozinski Berkeley County, South Carolina, United States July 10, 2014 Details
July 08, 2014 aruba513 Delaware, United States July 10, 2014 Details
July 03, 2014 dferris1 Lyon County, Minnesota, United States July 09, 2014 Details
July 24, 2010 julmast Elkhart County, Indiana, United States July 05, 2014 Details
June 09, 2014 efulrich Monterey County, California, United States July 05, 2014 Details
June 28, 2014 Samsara Chapman Ravalli County, Montana, United States July 01, 2014 Details
June 26, 2014 CA Ivy Sebastian County, Arkansas, United States June 27, 2014 Details
May 01, 2014 BabcockWebb Montrose County, Colorado, United States June 22, 2014 Details
June 13, 2014 farmgirldoreen Broome County, New York, United States June 21, 2014 Details
June 15, 2014 johngor Ontario, Canada June 17, 2014 Details
June 06, 2014 Lcebull Erie County, Ohio, United States June 16, 2014 Details
April 20, 2014 arcturusangel Gregg County, Texas, United States June 09, 2014 Details
August 19, 2012 Rick Henle Carroll County, New Hampshire, United States June 04, 2014 Details
August 25, 2012 Rick Henle Carroll County, New Hampshire, United States June 04, 2014 Details
August 25, 2012 Rick Henle Carroll County, New Hampshire, United States June 04, 2014 Details
August 27, 2012 Rick Henle Carroll County, New Hampshire, United States June 04, 2014 Details
August 27, 2012 Rick Henle Carroll County, New Hampshire, United States June 04, 2014 Details
May 30, 2014 sseagrave Sheridan County, Wyoming, United States June 02, 2014 Details
August 18, 2012 Rick Henle Carroll County, New Hampshire, United States June 01, 2014 Details
May 29, 2014 Intrinsic3141 Suffolk County, New York, United States May 31, 2014 Details
May 27, 2014 rawieland Washington County, Oregon, United States May 28, 2014 Details
May 14, 2014 David Allen Jones Orange County, California, United States May 28, 2014 Details
May 14, 2014 Robert Gorman Orange County, California, United States May 26, 2014 Details
May 11, 2014 Robert Gorman Orange County, California, United States May 26, 2014 Details
May 25, 2014 Moth Leumas Solano County, California, United States May 26, 2014 Details
May 24, 2014 gunhilda Payne County, Oklahoma, United States May 24, 2014 Details
May 15, 2014 joeschelling Cibola County, New Mexico, United States May 21, 2014 Details
May 18, 2014 CA Ivy Sebastian County, Arkansas, United States May 18, 2014 Details
May 03, 2014 Sue Orlowski Whitman County, Washington, United States May 15, 2014 Details
May 11, 2014 skywatcher British Columbia, Canada May 14, 2014 Details
May 12, 2014 jckirk Contra Costa County, California, United States May 14, 2014 Details
May 04, 2014 Intrinsic3141 Suffolk County, New York, United States May 04, 2014 Details
May 02, 2014 davidwdroppers Grant County, Washington, United States May 04, 2014 Details
May 01, 2014 PDunwiddie Thurston County, Washington, United States May 03, 2014 Details
April 04, 2014 Jella74 Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, United States May 01, 2014 Details
April 13, 2014 Robert Gorman Los Angeles County, California, United States April 19, 2014 Details
April 16, 2014 shakespearenut San Bernardino County, California, United States April 19, 2014 Details
August 12, 2012 Gerry Porter Ontario, Canada March 25, 2014 Details
March 13, 2014 John Koerner Los Angeles County, California, United States March 18, 2014 Details
March 07, 2014 kickingbird3 Napa County, California, United States March 16, 2014 Details
August 08, 2012 Gerry Porter Ontario, Canada March 14, 2014 Details
March 07, 2014 gelsja1012 Los Angeles County, California, United States March 13, 2014 Details