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_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
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
September 26, 2015 gszientara Colfax County, New Mexico, United States April 01, 2016 Details
October 26, 2015 jbaca59 Santa Fe County, New Mexico, United States April 01, 2016 Details
March 26, 2016 PDunwiddie Bexar County, Texas, United States March 28, 2016 Details
October 16, 1998 Marc Gottlieb El Paso County, Colorado, United States March 03, 2016 Details
February 20, 2016 TPeterson San Bernardino County, California, United States February 28, 2016 Details
July 03, 2015 billwx Garfield County, Oklahoma, United States February 28, 2016 Details
April 23, 2015 billwx Garfield County, Oklahoma, United States February 27, 2016 Details
February 21, 2016 MAKI Ventura County, California, United States February 25, 2016 Details
September 25, 2012 AJ Trently Fayette County, Tennessee, United States February 23, 2016 Details
July 27, 2015 SuzQ Mesa County, Colorado, United States February 19, 2016 Details
February 15, 2016 PONYRCR Los Angeles County, California, United States February 18, 2016 Details
August 31, 2015 starmans Clark County, Nevada, United States February 02, 2016 Details
January 28, 2016 ezeemonee Ventura County, California, United States February 02, 2016 Details
October 31, 2015 Bill Link Baltimore County, Maryland, United States January 29, 2016 Details
January 19, 2016 PDunwiddie San Diego County, California, United States January 25, 2016 Details
June 12, 2015 PJNosler Jackson County, Oregon, United States January 18, 2016 Details
December 01, 2015 Vince Moxon San Mateo County, California, United States January 11, 2016 Details
July 11, 2015 ncrosbyrd Gunnison County, Colorado, United States November 22, 2015 Details
November 12, 2015 wood121592 Los Angeles County, California, United States November 12, 2015 Details
October 23, 2015 rjcohrs Hancock County, Indiana, United States November 04, 2015 Details
November 04, 2014 SaunieInDiego San Diego County, California, United States November 04, 2015 Details
November 01, 2015 MAKI Ventura County, California, United States November 03, 2015 Details
November 01, 2015 Scrapinator Dade County, Missouri, United States November 02, 2015 Details
October 27, 2015 pumblebumble Bexar County, Texas, United States October 28, 2015 Details
October 14, 2015 mathgeek Jackson County, Illinois, United States October 28, 2015 Details
October 21, 2015 AJ Trently Lauderdale County, Tennessee, United States October 23, 2015 Details
June 24, 2015 bobscafe British Columbia, Canada October 20, 2015 Details
October 14, 2015 stephen stedman Crockett County, Tennessee, United States October 14, 2015 Details
October 06, 2015 Doug Bruce Fayette County, Tennessee, United States October 13, 2015 Details