VANESSA cardui
(CYNTHIA cardui)

Painted Lady




Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Class: Insecta (Insects)
Subclass: Pterygota (Winged Insects)
Order: Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Sub-Order: Rhopalocera (Butterflies)
Family: Nymphalidae (Fritillaries)
Genus: Vanessa
Species: cardui
Vanessa cardui

The Painted Lady is one of the larger British butterflies, with a bright, conspicuous pattern all over the upper wings, mainly in black, orange and white, but with small blue dots and brownish lines. It is a strong flier, and frequents rough ground and lanes, and also gardens in search of nectar. It often settles with its wings open, and they seem wider and flatter than many other British species. The Painted Lady is a summer visitor to Britain, and cannot survive the winter here.

The Painted Lady butterfly feeds on nectar, and in gardens feeds on Buddleja and Escallonia.

The caterpillar is black and spiny with yellowish lines on the side. Its food plants are Thistles, Mallows and stinging nettles.

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