Painted Lady

Vanessa cardui



There is a general color and pattern variation amongst the Painted lady species with their base color being a tan or red variation (2). The adult color pattern can be described as having a row of white spots within black shaded areas on both the forewing and hindwing while there is no evident seasonal variation of color and pattern in this species (1). This butterfly is also known for being found in a lot of regions of the world except in the Arctic, New Zealand, Australia, and scarce in South America; generally absent in the Southern hemisphere (2). This species does respond to stress by slight variations in wing color over time which reflects how environmental changes may have induced change in ancestral species and gave rise to the Vanessa cardui species (1).


(1) Otaki, J. M. (2007). Stress-induced color-pattern modifications and evolution of the Painted Lady butterflies Vanessa cardui and Vanessa kershawi. Zoological science, 24(8), 811-819.

(2) Field, W. D. (1971). Butterflies of the genus Vanessa and of the resurrected genera Bassaris and Cynthia (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). p. 43-44











Photograph) ©2004 Henk Wallays