Painted Lady Vanessa cardui (Linnaeus, 1758)  Synonyms: Cosmopolitan, Thistle Butterfly.

Status:

Widespread and common in summer, occasionally abundant. This species does not just emerge in our area in late summer. It is actually a migrant that recolonizes the continent from Mexico and the southern U.S. each year! The "Thistle Butterfly" or "Cosmopolitan" is the most widespread butterfly species in the world, found on all continents except Australia and Antarctica.

Description:

Painted Lady shows four small submarginal eyespots on the the hindwing, all similar in size and isolated, while American Lady has two enlarged, and with the row usually thinly connected. On the forewing, Painted lady has more extensive black markings than American, with bold central black markings forming a semicircular mark. American also usually shows a small white spot on an orange background, lacking on Painted (Glassberg, 1999).

Relationships:

Primarily thistles, but will use other plants.

There are 332 records in the project database.

Search Google Images

GA AL WA FR CL MO HO BA BC HA CE PG AA CV CH SM KE QA CN TA DO WI SO WO 
A Painted Lady in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (9/10/2017). Photo by Emily Carter Mitchell. (MBP list)

A Painted Lady in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (9/23/2014). Photo by David Illig. (MBP list)

A Painted Lady at Eastern Neck NWR, Kent Co., Maryland (10/1/2009). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

A Painted Lady in Baltimore Co., Maryland (7/20/2014). Photo by Frode Jacobsen. (MBP list)

A Painted Lady in Calvert Co., Maryland (10/12/2013). Photo by Benjamin DeHaven. (MBP list)

A Painted Lady in Baltimore Co., Maryland (9/10/2014). Photo by Frode Jacobsen. (MBP list)

A Painted Lady in Prince George's Co., Maryland (6/26/2012). Photo by Barbara Thurlow. (MBP list)

A Painted Lady in Caroline Co., Maryland (7/4/2005). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list) (More of this species)

A Painted Lady in Worcester Co., Maryland (10/4/2013). Photo by Scott Housten. (MBP list)

A Painted Lady persists into November in Ocean City, Maryland (11/10/2013). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

A Painted Lady in Howard Co., Maryland (7/11/2014). Photo by Jim Wilkinson. (MBP list)

A Painted Lady on Assateague Island, Maryland (11/10/2012). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

A Painted Lady in Montgomery Co., Maryland (9/20/2014). Photo by Bonnie Bell. (MBP list)

A Painted Lady larva in Harford Co., Maryland (8/22/2014). Photo by Tea Kesting-Handly. (MBP list)

A Painted Lady caterpillar weaving a shelter in Montgomery Co., Maryland (10/7/2014). Photos from top to bottom: front end, back end, and the finished shelter the following day. Photo by Steve Scholnick. (MBP list)


View All Images

Use of images featured on Maryland Biodiversity Project is only permitted with express permission of the photographer.

View Bibliography