American Painted Lady

Vanessa virginiensis

The American Painted Lady or American Lady is a butterfly found throughout North America.

''Vanessa virginiensis'' lives in flowery habitats, usually in mountains. The larvae feed on various Asteraceae, especially the cudweeds of genus ''Gnaphalium''. All stages of the life cycle can be found throughout temperate North America as well as Madeira and the Canary Islands. Occasionally individuals can be found as far as south-west Europe.
American Lady An American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) butterfly feeding on Joe Pye Weed at Alleyn-et-Cawood, Quebec, Canada. Alleyn-et-Cawood,American Lady,American Painted Lady,Canada,Geotagged,Quebec,Summer,Vanessa virginiensis,butterfly

Appearance

''Vanessa virginiensis'' is most easily distinguishable by its two large eyespots on the ventral side, whereas ''V. cardui'' has four small eyespots and ''V. annabella'' has none. ''V. virginiensis'' also uniquely features a white dot within the forewing subapical field, set in pink on the underside and usually also in the dorsal side's orange field.

The largest spot in the black forewing tips is white in ''V. cardui'', pale orange in this species, and orange in the West Coast species. The latter also has a purer orange background color of the dorsal side, as opposed to the darker and redder hue of the other two.

A less reliable indicator is the row of black eyespots on the dorsal submarginal hindwing. In the American Painted Lady, those on the opposite ends of the row are often larger and have blue "pupils". In ''V. annabella'', this applies to the inner two spots, while in ''V. cardui'' some of the black eyespots may have tiny blue pupils in the summer morph, but usually have none at all, and the eyespots themselves are all roughly the same size. The size of the wings are about 5 cm across.
Vanessa virginiensis Vanessa virginiensis, old female. The wing transparency is given by the lack of inner wing bellow... American Painted Lady,Vanessa virginiensis,insects,lepidoptera,nymphalidae,rhopalocera

Defense

:''See'' Painted Lady

References:

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Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionArthropoda
ClassInsecta
OrderLepidoptera
FamilyNymphalidae
GenusVanessa
SpeciesV. (c.) virginiensis