Painted Lady

misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)July 4, 2014

Today I saw what I first thought was an American lady flitting around in the garden. A second look showed it to be a painted lady, fairly rare in this area. It stayed all afternoon, nectaring on stoke's asters - it REALLY loved those flowers!
I've seen lists of host plants for painted ladies, but I really don't have any of their primary hosts. I do have many members of the aster family in my garden, like A. oblongifolius, Georgia asters, New England asters, ironweed, and Mexican sunflowers. Has anybody ever found painted lady caterpillars on these plants? I've never raised any, so I'd be thrilled to find some eggs or cats!

This picture of the underside shows the pattern characteristic of this species -

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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

I'm using the Butterfly Forum to upload pictures, and it won't take more than one photo on a post.

I also got this picture of the upper side of the painted lady -

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 12:37AM
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linda_tx8(8)

Don't you have any thistles in the area? When they do come here and lay eggs, they use native thistles. The thistles here are mostly seeded out and either dead or ratty looking right now...I had cats this spring, however! I have Aster oblongifolius, but have not seen any PL cats on them.

This post was edited by linda_tx8 on Fri, Jul 4, 14 at 12:47

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 12:46PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

By thistles, do you mean those spiny thistles that look like they'd be the death of a caterpillar, Linda? I do have those on my roadway, or, at least, they WERE there not long ago.

One host plant they supposedly use is various types of malva, which includes sida. There are a lot of those plants here - they're the plant that checkered skippers lay their eggs on. So I'll be checking those.

Sherry

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 12:56PM
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Leafhead

I have had a plethora of American Ladies this year :) One or two Painted Ladies as well.

John

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 3:05AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Beautiful, Sherry!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 1:22PM
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linda_tx8(8)

Well, the thistles DO have all those thorny points! But the PL cats do very well on them! When I bring them in to raise, I just have to be careful handling the plants.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 3:22PM
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linda_tx8(8)

My usual thistle is the Texas Thistle, which is a very popular nectar plant for butterflies when it's blooming.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 3:29PM
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kitchendetective(8b)

I believe these are also referred to as basket flowers. This year they took over one of the pastures. To the uninitiated, it looked like fields of lavender. I love the color!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 3:33PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Oh wow, Linda! It's amazing that the cats can avoid those spines!

Thanks all for the compliments on the picture!

I also noticed that this painted lady was bigger than American ladies. I saw an American lady today nectaring on my Ellen's Blue butterfly bush , and it looked significantly smaller than the one in the above pictures.

Sherry

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 3:45PM
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woollybear69(9b Fla.)

Two very beautiful butterfly photos.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2014 at 7:38AM
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