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Painted lady butterfly larvae?

Where can u find them? like in the wild where can u find them? which state? can u find them in washington?

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3 Responses to “Painted lady butterfly larvae?”

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  2. Ruthie O

    Lots of them in Virginia and DC area, probably Maryland as well.

  3. ANGEL

    Painted lady butterfly like brightly lighted and open environments. They prefer clover fields, flowery meadows and hilly country. Marshes, dunes, and thorn scrubs also attract the Painted Lady.

    They don’t overwinter in northern states, but overwinter in tropical and subtropical areas & migrate northward in the spring. Painted Ladies are also migrating out of East Africa through southern Israel (Hansen 1998). “During so-called “normal,” non-El NiƱo years, the butterflies persist at low to moderate levels in relatively limited “source areas” in arid regions such as the desert Southwestern U.S (Tilden 1962).
    “Most of the painted ladies we see in the United States have arrived from the deserts of southern Arizona and Mexico.”

    Painted lady butterflies breed continuously and to send out migrants from the deserts of the southwestern United States and Mexico. “It is in these desert areas that all the painted ladies we see farther north originate. And these deserts, as well as the deserts of Africa, are productive enough to keep sending plenty of painted ladies into the rest of the world each summer.”

    You should be able to find them in very early summer in Washington. According to this site, strong southerly winds helped numerous painted lady butterflies reached North Dakota in May -June. Look for the larvae in areas with plants the caterpillar feeds on. “The most common plants are Canada thistle, sunflower, soybean, canola, dry edible beans and vegetable plants in the garden. The Painted Lady butterfly prefers nectar from composites 3_6 feet high, especially thistles; also aster, cosmos, blazing star, ironweed, and joe-pye weed. Flowers from other families that are visited include red clover, buttonbush, privet, and milkweeds.”

    “Host plants are many and include thistle, Borage (Borago officinalis), Hollyhock (Alcea rosea), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), Malva (Malva sylvestris), Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) and Plantain (Plantago lanceolata).”

    Photos of butterflies in Washington including painted lady. Click a pic for more photos and links to butterfly host plants:
    “Males perch and patrol during the afternoon for receptive females. In the West males usually perch on shrubs on hilltops, while in the East males perch on bare ground in open areas. Females lay eggs singly on the tops of host plant leaves. Caterpillars live in silk nests and eat leaves.” Documented Records for painted lady butterflies (Vanessa cardui) in Washington:

    Good luck!!! Hope this helps.

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