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_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)

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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
November 29, 2016 CA Ivy Sebastian County, Arkansas, United States December 08, 2016 Details
December 02, 2016 RichHubie Mendocino County, California, United States December 06, 2016 Details
December 01, 2016 CA Ivy Sebastian County, Arkansas, United States December 01, 2016 Details
November 24, 2016 billwx Garfield County, Oklahoma, United States November 25, 2016 Details
November 14, 2016 billwx Garfield County, Oklahoma, United States November 24, 2016 Details
November 22, 2016 billwx Garfield County, Oklahoma, United States November 24, 2016 Details
November 06, 2016 JudyFite Montrose County, Colorado, United States November 22, 2016 Details
November 12, 2016 Shirley Wilkerson Brazos County, Texas, United States November 12, 2016 Details
July 31, 2016 aarongunnar Jefferson County, Wisconsin, United States November 11, 2016 Details
September 17, 2016 John Wilson Socorro County, New Mexico, United States November 01, 2016 Details
September 16, 2015 Mtsteelman Mobile County, Alabama, United States October 29, 2016 Details
October 22, 2016 billwx Garfield County, Oklahoma, United States October 29, 2016 Details
October 12, 2016 mathgeek Jackson County, Illinois, United States October 22, 2016 Details
October 03, 2016 mathgeek Jackson County, Illinois, United States October 18, 2016 Details
October 15, 2016 billwx Garfield County, Oklahoma, United States October 17, 2016 Details
October 14, 2016 Mzteachuh San Bernardino County, California, United States October 15, 2016 Details
October 07, 2016 Jeff Trahan Little River County, Arkansas, United States October 09, 2016 Details
October 01, 2016 billwx Garfield County, Oklahoma, United States October 07, 2016 Details
October 02, 2016 lilkriskattn Sequatchie County, Tennessee, United States October 02, 2016 Details
July 10, 2016 billwx Garfield County, Oklahoma, United States September 25, 2016 Details
August 21, 2016 billwx Garfield County, Oklahoma, United States September 25, 2016 Details
September 11, 2016 billwx Garfield County, Oklahoma, United States September 25, 2016 Details
September 18, 2016 billwx Garfield County, Oklahoma, United States September 25, 2016 Details
September 04, 2016 Doug Bruce Obion County, Tennessee, United States September 12, 2016 Details
August 30, 2016 RichHubie Mendocino County, California, United States September 06, 2016 Details
September 04, 2016 chellebar Clark County, Nevada, United States September 06, 2016 Details
September 01, 2016 RichHubie Mendocino County, California, United States September 06, 2016 Details
July 13, 2016 johngor Ontario, Canada September 04, 2016 Details
August 17, 2016 mathgeek Jackson County, Illinois, United States August 24, 2016 Details
September 12, 2012 digginflowers New Brunswick, Canada August 23, 2016 Details
August 06, 2016 Kzfisherman McHenry County, Illinois, United States August 18, 2016 Details
August 16, 2016 digginflowers Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, United States August 17, 2016 Details
August 09, 2016 yardbird Calaveras County, California, United States August 17, 2016 Details
August 13, 2016 Doug Bruce Overton County, Tennessee, United States August 15, 2016 Details
June 29, 2016 ncrosbyrd Kern County, California, United States July 30, 2016 Details
October 24, 2014 gpstewart Texas, United States, Williamson County July 28, 2016 Details
October 16, 2014 Allen Gathman Cape Girardeau County, Missouri, United States July 24, 2016 Details
June 27, 2016 ncrosbyrd Sierra County, California, United States July 24, 2016 Details
July 21, 2016 pdxgene711 Clackamas County, Oregon, United States July 21, 2016 Details
October 10, 2013 Jeff Thompson Ohio County, Kentucky, United States July 17, 2016 Details
May 16, 2016 pattiep9 Will County, Illinois, United States July 15, 2016 Details
May 06, 2016 pattiep9 Will County, Illinois, United States July 15, 2016 Details
July 05, 2016 RichHubie Mendocino County, California, United States July 06, 2016 Details
June 10, 2016 cblazo Fulton County, Pennsylvania, United States June 12, 2016 Details
May 30, 2016 Chet Gottfried Centre County, Pennsylvania, United States May 31, 2016 Details
August 02, 2015 raptorrunner Thurston County, Nebraska, United States May 30, 2016 Details
August 22, 2015 Mr Bill E-B Ontario, Canada May 15, 2016 Details
August 24, 2015 sh11 Ontario, Canada May 02, 2016 Details
September 18, 2014 jmorth Sangamon County, Illinois, United States April 15, 2016 Details
November 08, 2015 ncrosbyrd Hidalgo County, Texas, United States April 06, 2016 Details