Living With The American Lady

The American Lady butterfly, Vanessa virginiensis, is a close relative of the Painted Lady butterfly, Vanessa cardui. It appears in Indiana in most but not in all years, and its numbers fluctuate. Interestingly, it has never been reported at our annual butterfly count (Third Saturday in July; July 16, 2016) The American Lady migrates and is found year round in Florida and other southern states. The northern extent of its overwintering is not known. It is not known to form the large swarms typical of Vanessa cardui. Here in Indiana, the butterflies produce two broods.

American Lady

American Lady

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
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One Response to Living With The American Lady

  1. Michael Eckenfels says:

    The dorsal view, the photo on the right, is actually V. cardui (painted lady). They both regularly occur in my area and it’s always a challenge to discern them from one another in the field. One of the key characters though is the white dot occurring in the middle of the orange formation on the fore wing (present in the left photo). It occurs on both sides but is missing in the photo on the right. There’s another key character in that same area that shows the right photo to be V. cardui. Source- Kaufman Field Guide to Butterflies of North America, p. 204

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