Vanessa cardui (Painted lady)

Last update: 20 June 2019


LOCATION: Krimpen aan den IJssel, garden


This evening I found this worn butterfly resting in a Lathyrus latifolius plant, it is the Painted lady (Vanessa cardui) from the Nymphalidae family.

Painted lady (Vanessa cardui)

Judging by the worn down appearance it is a overwinterer that just arrived and it did not come alone. In the Lime tree next to the garden flew at least another two.

A recent discovery has shown that the species conducts mass migrations between Europe and Central Africa [1]. It is not clear how many generations are involved. The suggestion is that the species migrates to Europe between Februari and August, and returns to Africa from September to Januari.
The species occurs in the entire world with the exception of South-America. It is seen as far south as near Antarctica and in Europe near the arctic circle in Norway [1].

It is the second time this species visits the garden, the first time being almost four years ago in August at the time I started this website.

Update 2019 / 06 / 20

The butterflies are still here and use the garden to add some fuel. There are at least 3 specimen. They are fast and patrol the area and the Lime tree in which every now and then some are visible but they could be the same specimens.

Painted lady (Vanessa cardui)

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