This species ranges from southern Canada to Mexico, Central America, and Colombia, for at least part of the year. It occurs in parts of northern and central Idaho.
It can be found in a variety of open areas, such as meadows, gardens, and vacant lots.
Caterpillars feed on the leaves of many species of plants from the sunflower
family (Asteraceae), particularly species of everlasting (Gnaphalium
spp., Anaphalis spp.) and pussy toes (Antennaria spp.).
Adult: Butterflies drink nectar from a variety of flowers.
Individual young caterpillars live in nests made from plant hairs tied with silk; older ones construct nests of leaves tied with silk. There are two to four generations of caterpillars each year through much of its range, and many all year long in the extreme south. Adults generally fly from April to November. Butterflies may migrate north, but not to the extent of the other Painted lady species. Adult and pupal forms are capable of overwintering in a physiological state called diapause, and this may be the only species of Painted Lady capable of surviving a northern winter.
Males perch on hilltops in the afternoons and evenings to wait for receptive females. Yellowish green eggs are laid singly on the topsides of the leaves of host plants.
|Idaho Status:||Unprotected nongame species.|
G5; populations are widespread, abundant, and secure.
Opler, P. A., H. Pavulaan, and R. E. Stanford. 1995. Butterflies of North America. Jamestown, North Dakota, USA: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Home Page. http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/distr/lepid/bflyusa/bflyusa.htm (Version 05Nov98).
Opler, P. A. and A. B.Wright. 1999. A Field Guide to the Western Butterflies. Second Edition. Peterson Field Guide Series. Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, New York, USA, 540 pp.
Pyle, R. M. 1981. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York, New York, USA, 924 pp.
Scott, J. A. 1986. The Butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California, USA, 583 pp.
Stanford, R. E. and P. A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western U.S.A. Butterflies (Including Adjacent Parts of Canada and Mexico). Published by authors, Denver, Colorado, USA, 275 pp.