Species of the Month: Painted Lady
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Our Species of the Month species surveys are an important way you can help us. Records are sent to DERC (Dorset Environmental Records Centre) who collate this information to build up a picture of the of the state of Dorset's wildlife. So please help us help wildlife by filling in the form below. Thank you!
July Species of the Month: Painted Lady
Scientific Name: Vanessa cardui
Mainly orange above with black wing tips. Forewings have white spots whereas lower wings have black spots. The underside is a paler brown
Caterpillar food plants include thistles, nettles, and viper’s bugloss. The adult can be seen feeding on nectar from flowers such as buddleia, aster and thistle.
The painted lady migrates to Europe from North Africa. It is thought that migration is triggered if the density of a population reaches a certain size. The numbers seen in the UK vary each year and sadly none of the life cycle stages can survive the winter here. Flying at an altitude of over 1000 feet, it is thought that some painted ladies attempt the return journey to Europe and Africa in autumn.
Did you know?
The painted lady has the longest recorded migration of any butterfly and can reach speeds of nearly 30mph! The painted lady is the most widespread of all butterflies
Where can they be found?
Wildlife gardening tips
To attract butterflies, such as the painted lady, into your garden, plant nectar-rich borders for them to feed along.
Species of the Month sightings form
Your details will only be used by Dorset Wildlife Trust and we will never give your information to other organisations to use for their own purposes. You can change your communications preference at any time by contacting us on 01202 692033. When you have completed the form, please click the Send button.