The Painted Lady

The Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) is, like its close relative the Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta), a migrating species. The butterflies arrive after a long flight from the South early summer. This journey may leave marks on the wings of the butterfly (see below). In some years, Painted Ladies can migrate in such massive quantities that they’ve even be reported to appear on radar.

Summer 2014 has been an average year for this butterfly in Finland. Throughout summer I was able to spot some individuals. I got some shots of this beautiful migrant. However, I’m still looking forward to getting better capture.

Early summer, on a walk with my family, we observed a female laying eggs on thistles on a field. This made it easy to me to collect some and grow them up on nettles instead (nettles do better once cut as food plant). The caterpillar, by the way, looks almost identical to caterpillars of the Red Admiral.

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