American Painted Lady

COMMON NAME: American Painted Lady
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Vanessa virginiensis
FAMILY: Nymphalidae
ORDER: Lepidoptera

American Painted Lady Butterfly (Vanessa virginiensis). Perched on a Yarrow flower (Achillea millefolium). 16 Apr 2012. Click to enlarge.

American Painted Lady Butterfly (Vanessa virginiensis). Perched on a Yarrow flower (Achillea millefolium). 16 Apr 2012. Click to enlarge.

This big orange beauty is feeding on a Yarrow flower in a mostly sunny area of the property mid-spring.

This photo shows a clear side view of its face and body.

American Painted Lady Butterfly (Vanessa virginiensis). Perched on a Yarrow flower (Achillea millefolium). 16 Apr 2012. Click to enlarge.

American Painted Lady Butterfly (Vanessa virginiensis). Perched on a Yarrow flower (Achillea millefolium). 16 Apr 2012. Click to enlarge.

A view from behind.

American Painted Lady Butterfly (Vanessa virginiensis). Feeding on a Yarrow flower (Achillea millefolium). 16 Apr 2012. Click to enlarge.

American Painted Lady Butterfly (Vanessa virginiensis). Feeding on a Yarrow flower (Achillea millefolium). 16 Apr 2012. Click to enlarge.

In this one you can see it feeding on the nectar. Its proboscis, what it uses to get the nectar, almost looks like another leg, except that it is dark in color. When not feeding, the proboscis curls up under the head.

American Painted Lady Butterfly (Vanessa virginiensis). Perched on a Yarrow flower (Achillea millefolium). 16 Apr 2012. Click to enlarge.

American Painted Lady Butterfly (Vanessa virginiensis). Perched on a Yarrow flower (Achillea millefolium). 16 Apr 2012. Click to enlarge.

Front view.

American Painted Lady Butterfly (Vanessa virginiensis). Feeding on a Brown-eyed Susan flower (Rudbeckia hirta). 21 May 2012. Click to enlarge.

American Painted Lady Butterfly (Vanessa virginiensis). Feeding on a Brown-eyed Susan flower (Rudbeckia hirta). 21 May 2012. Click to enlarge.

An American Painted Lady on a Brown-eyed Susan. This one shows the under (ventral) side of the wing. It looks very different from the top side.

Notice the splash of coral color on the forewing.

This butterfly looks almost identical to the Painted Lady, another butterfly belonging to the genus Vanessa.  The American Painted Lady differs on its ventral (bottom) side of the hind wing, having two dots rather than four, and a splash of pink/coral color rather than orange on the fore wing. On the dorsal (top) side, the American Painted Lady has a darker, richer orange hue and a slightly differing pattern.


American Painted Lady feeding on nectar of the Texas Vervain (Verbena halei) wildflower. 15 Apr 2012. Click to enlarge.

American Painted Lady feeding on nectar of the Texas Vervain (Verbena halei) wildflower. 15 Apr 2012. Click to enlarge.

A few details from Wikipedia’s American Painted Lady page:

Range (U.S.): Throughout North America, including all stages of the life cycle.

Habitat: Flowery places, usually in the mountains.

Diet: Adults feed on nectar. Larvae feed on various Aster plants.


Related Links on this site:

All Butterflies
Butterflies Moths Index Page


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