They are a very wide spread butterfly found on all the world's continents except Australia and Antarctica. In North America they can be found from Canada, through the U.S. south to the deserts of Mexico, where they can migrate back and forth.
They live in open areas like rocky slopes, fields, meadows, fields, gardens and parks.
They are orange with black blotches. They have dark edges on their front wings with a white bar and white spots in it. The back wing has black spots on the top side of wings and blue spots on the bottom side. Their wingspan is up to 3”.
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.
The caterpillar eats on thistles.
The females lay one egg on the tops of a thistle leaf.
Species: V. cardui
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Amsel, Sheri. "Butterfly (Painted Lady)" Exploring Nature Educational Resource ©2005-2017. January 20, 2017
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