Tucson Botanical Garden Painted Lady
Prison Camp 9/6/17 Painted Lady Prison Camp 9/6/17 Painted Lady

Butterflies of Southern Arizona

Page  1





Painted Lady at the Tucson Botanical Garden.
Vanessa cardui
Brush-footed Butterflies (Nymphalidae) Family

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.

Santa Catalina Mountains.
Prison Camp
Location: On white prairie clover beside campground road.

See Butterflies and Moths of North America Pictures and Description

Thumb: American Snout
« Amer. Snout
Thumb: West Coast Lady
W. C. Lady »