|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|The Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) is a well-known colourful butterfly, known in North America as the Cosmopolite.|
It is one of the most widespread of all butterflies, found on every continent except Antarctica. In Australia, V. cardui has a limited range around Bunbury, Fremantle and Rottnest Island. However, its close relative, the Australian Painted Lady (Vanessa kershawi, sometimes considered a subspecies) ranges over half the continent. Other closely related species are the American Painted Lady(Vanessa virginiensis), and the West Coast Lady (Vanessa annabella).
The Painted Lady occurs in any temperate zone, including mountains in the tropics. The species is resident only in warmer areas, but migrates in spring, and sometimes again in autumn. For example, it migrates from North Africa and the Mediterranean to Britain in May and June, but offspring produced there die in the Autumn.
Painted Lady butterflies are popular for many pre-school classes to raise in schools to demonstrate the life cycle of a butterfly.
The caterpillars feed on a wide variety of host plants of the families Compositae (especially thistle), Boraginaceae, Malvaceae (especially hollyhocks and dwarf mallow (Malva neglecta), and a number of legumes. The adults drink nectar from a variety of wildflowers and cultivars, more commonly the favored thistle, butterfly bush (Buddleia), asters, Tickseed sunflowers (Bidens) and zinnias.
In general, the Painted Lady is a large butterfly (wing span can range from 2 - 2 7/8 inches long) identified by the black and white corners of its mainly orange wings.
The American Painted Lady (V. virginiensis) is most easily distinguishable by its two large eyespots on the ventral side, whereas cardui has four small eyespots. virginiensis also features a small white dot within the orange subapical field. which shows on both the dorsal and ventral sides. A less reliable indicator is the row of spots on the submarginal hindwing; while cardui typically has a row of small black spots, virginiensis often has two larger outer spots with blue pupils. In its summer form, however, cardui also sometimes has small blue pupils, so it is the two larger spots which best distinguish virginiensis.
The West Coast Lady (V. annabella) does not have obvious ventral eyespots. On the dorsal side, anabella lacks the distinctive white dot of virginiensis, and is a deeper, more consistent orange than both virginiensis and cardui; annabella has a fully orange subapical band and leading edge on the forewing, while in the other species these areas are often pale or tinged with white. The submarginal row of hindwing spots in annabella features three or four blue pupils. The two larger pupils in annabella are the inner spots, rather than the outer spots as in virginiensis.
The Australian Painted Lady (V. kershawi) is similar to V. cardui. However, its four ventral eyespots are less clearly defined, and it always sports at least three (often four) blue pupil spots on its dorsal hindwing. A major food plant is Ammobium alatum.
Why is it that when I use neatimage the exif data disappears??? I am not sure but I suspect that it does not disappear always.
haraprasan, gannu, phlr has marked this note useful
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