#TBT The Osprey – Nature Sketches: Painted Lady Butterfly (Vanessa cardui)

The Osprey, vol. 35, no. 02 (May 2004) By: A. Glen Ryan Painted Lady Butterfly by A. Glen Ryan The Painted Lady is likely the most widespread butterfly in the world. It is found almost everywhere except in the deep tropics and the Arctic icecaps. It occurs on every continent except Australia and Antarctica, the reason for one or its common names; the Cosmopolitan! Its preferred habitat is open or disturbed areas including old fields, gardens, and roadsides. It is particularly fond of open sunny fields with thistles, especially the Canada Thistle in Newfoundland, where large numbers sometimes congregate in late summer, resulting in still another common name, the Thistle Butterfly. The Painted Lady belongs to the Nymphalidae, or brush-footed butterflies. They appear to have 4 legs instead of 6. The front legs are much smaller and use less for walking. They are hairy and brushlike in appearance and are…


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