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Painted Lady 
Latin Name: Vanessa cardui
 
Genus: Vanessa    Species: cardui 
Family
Latin Name: Nymphalidae
Common Name: Brush-Foots
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Family Members
 
SubFamily
Latin Name: Nymphalinae
Common Name: True Brush-Foots
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SubFamily Members

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Comments:
The Painted Lady, a resident of northern Mexico, annually colonizes much of North America each year before migrating south again in the fall. Although abundance varies from year to year, it is infrequently encountered in Florida. It is a butterfly of open disturbed sites, but may be found in most habitats when dispersing. The larvae construct individual shelters of loose webbing on host leaves.
   
Life Cycle:
Broods:
multiple generations
Egg:
small pale green eggs laid singly on host leaves
Larva:
variable; greenish yellow with black mottling to charcoal with cream mottling and several rows of lightcolored, branched spines
Host Plants:
large variety of plants including thistles and mallows
   
Host Plants:
Host Plants:
large variety of plants including thistles and mallows
   
Habitat:
Habitat:
open, disturbed sites including roadsides, old fields, fallow agricultural land, pastures, utility easements and gardens
   
     
     
   
Wingspan:
Inches:
1.75 - 2.4
Centimeters:
4.4 - 6.1
   
Appearance:
Sexes:
similar
Compare:
American Painted Lady similar in size and color but has two large ventral hindwing eyespots.
   
     
     
Markings:
 

Above:

  • pinkish orange with dark markings and small white spots near tip of forewing  
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Below:

  • brown with cream patches in ornate cobweb pattern; hindwing has row of four small eyespots and marginal band of lavender spots  
 
Florida Distribution:
Abundance:
rare to occasional
   

 

     

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Map Legend: Resident (green) | Stray (Red)


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