Painted lady

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Painted lady 
Vanessa cardui

Wing span: 
2 to 2 7/8  inches 

Caterpillar hosts plants: 
more than 100 hosts, favorites include hollyhock, Alcea; legumes (Leguminosae family); mallow, Malva; thistles, Cirsium

Adult food:  
nectar from many composites as well as other plants, favorites include aster, Aster; butterfly bush, Buddleia; cosmos, Cosmos; goldenrod, Solidago; ironweek, Veronia; milkweed, Asclepias; Joe-pye weed, Eupatorium; thistles, Cirsium; zinnia, Zinnia

almost everywhere, especially open or disturbed areas such as gardens or old fields 


males perch and patrol for females, females lay eggs singly on top of host leaves, hibernates as adults in the south and mild winters, puddles. 

The painded lady and the American painted lady are very similar in appearance. The painted lady has four or five small black spots on the rear portion of each hind wing.  The American painted lady has two large black dots with blue centers on each hind wing. 

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