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Butterfly populations are a very good indicator of the health of an area's ecosystem !!

Also known as the Thistle Butterfly or the Cosmopolitan Butterfly.

   The Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) is almost globally distributed, only being exempt from South America and Antartica.

   Painted Lady larvae feed on a wide variety of host plants especially thistles, hollyhock, common mallow  and a number of legumes including Iowa soybeans. 

    Females are generally larger than males. 

   The number of broods in any one place in the U.S. may vary from year to year because it is not a permanent resident in most of the country.

   Painted Ladies can fly at speeds up to 30 mph, and in migration, will fly 100 mi. per day.

   *There are considered to be four subspecies of Painted Ladies.
   ** Painted Ladies are the world's most widely distributed butterfly species.
Painted Lady Vanessa cardui chrysalis.jpg
Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) caterpillar
Painted Lady.png
Avg. Wingspan: 5.1 - 7.3 cm / 2 - 2 7/8 "
Diet: adults eat nectar produced by flowering host plants.

Kingdom: Animalia, Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Insecta, Order: Lepidoptera

* Being Brush-footed butterflies, Painted Ladys have a short pair of fore legs that are used to taste food, and two pairs of longer rear legs that are used for propulsion.
The single biggest threat to butterfly survival is habitat destruction!!
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