painted lady


painted lady

/

American painted lady (Vanessa virginiensis)—E.S. Ross

Either of two species of butterflies in the genus Vanessa (family Nymphalidae): V. cardui of Africa and Europe or V. virginiensis of North and Central America. They have broad, elaborately patterned wings of reddish orange, brown, white, and blue. In spring, vast numbers of V. cardui travel thousands of miles across the Mediterranean from Africa to Europe. A few members of the subsequent generation travel south in late summer, but most perish in the northern winter. North American painted ladies travel in spring from northwestern Mexico to the Mojave Desert and sometimes as far as Canada. Their larvae eat plants in the aster family; V. cardui larvae eat thistles and stinging nettles.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on painted lady, visit Britannica.com.

Seen & Heard

What made you look up painted lady? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More