Thursday, August 20, 2009

Painted Lady

Painted lady (Vanessa cardui)Painted lady (Vanessa cardui)The painted lady (Vanessa cardui) has a greater world distribution than any other butterfly. It is found almost everywhere, except South America. It goes through multiple generations during the season in Illinois, but like many other Illinoisans, cannot tolerate freezing temperatures, migrating to warmer climes for the winter. Both larvae and adults will feed on a wide variety of plants, seen in these photos on the ever-popular butterfly bush. Note the underside of the hind wing, which blends in with a variety of flowers, or as naturalists seem to like to say, is cryptic.

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