Vanessa virginiensis

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The American Lady has a wingspan of 1.6 to 2.3 inches. This butterfly is similar in appearance to the Painted Lady. The upperside of the forewing is orange with black tips. The upperside of the hindwing is orange with small, smeared-looking blue spots. Overall, the upperwings have less markings and show more orange than the Painted Lady. The underside of the hindwing has two large eyespots in contrast to the 5 small eyespots of the Painted Lady. The caterpillar is variably greenish-yellow with black bands to black with cream bands. It has numerous red-based branched spines.




The American Lady has been photographed in Fontenelle Forest in May 2007 and late September 2016 . Unable to survive cold winters, the adults over-winter in warm southern states before moving north in the spring. They do not migrate in large numbers like the Painted Lady.



The larvae eat the leaves of some composites, especially Pussy Toes, Everlastings and Cudweed.


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