|Home||The Butterflies of Gloucestershire||Species||Habitats||Conservation|
Painted LadyVanessa (Cynthia) cardui
|7 August 1976||24 July 1976|
The Painted Lady is a migrant species which may be seen in almost any
habitat, including gardens and town parks.
Its favourite larval foodplants for egglaying are various Thistles (Carduus and Cirsium species). These may often be found growing in large numbers on grazed grassland and field margins.
No significant conservation issues here, because the species does not
survive the British winter. The Painted Lady is very common in North
Africa, and spreads northwards across Europe every year. In some years
it is quite scarce here but it can be extremely common, as in 1996 which
accounts for well over 80% of the records made from 1995 to 1999.
Perhaps the main conservation issue about this and other migrant species is the fact that their presence in great numbers (or in other years their very low numbers) diverts public attention and concern from real conservation issues. Such as the continuing loss of the type of habitat required by our scarce resident butterfly species and many other forms of wildlife.
Flight PeriodThe earliest migrants arrive in April. Most of the sightings are made in June, and when that generation's descendents emerge in late July and August.
DistributionAnywhere in the area