Vanessa cardui - Painted Lady Butterfly

Image of Aglais io Butterfly

Formal Name: Vanessa cardui

Informal Name: Painted Lady

Conservation Status: No threat to conservation and numbers have been on the rise

Location: Europe, Asia, America and Africa

Average Wingspan (cm): 5.7

Seen Between: May- September

Description: Vanessa cardui also known as the Painted Lady. It has an average wingspan of 5.7cm.

Painted Lady Butterflies are mostly orange on the upper side, with black wingtips and small white spots. The rest of the wing has small black markings on them. The underside of the wing is a dull shade of brown and white, with markings that resemble eyes. These markings help them camouflage and evade predators.

They can be found in many countries, migrating during the year. They even migrate from North Africa to the UK. Vanessa cardui is abundant in the UK. They are spotted in places like gardens, grassy areas near water and occasionally on mountains. There is little threat to them classed under the Conservation act as not at risk. Predators of the Painted Lady include spiders, wasps, and birds. They use their flight and camouflage to protect themselves from these predators. This butterfly eats nectar from several plants including Thistles, Brambles, Ivy, Knapweed, and Red Clover. They are likely to be seen between May and September. Generally, they have a 12-month life span, from egg to butterfly.