American Lady Butterfly (Vanessa virginensis)

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: American Lady Butterfly (Vanessa virginensis)

They’re backkkkkkkk. Sometimes the common name is given as American (Painted) Lady; True “painted lady” butterfly (V. cardui) has different laval hosts and eyespot count is one key to identification. See composite photos for identification:


Larval host: cudweed aka Everylasting. In my yard: Delicate Everlasting (Gamochaeta antillana) a Florida native cudweed. (syn. Gnaphalium spp.); Possibly pearly everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea), plantain-leaved pussy toes (Antennaria plantaginifolia), wormwood (Artemisia), ironweed (Vernonia), and burdock (Arctium).



Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba

My take:


  1. Loret said:

    I don’t think we get the painteds here. As far as remembering, I know EXACTLY what you mean. I have that trouble with the crescent pearl vs phaon crescent. No matter how well I think I know them, as soon as I see one I have to go back to the website to re-read the difference. Some with viceroy v. queen. I always have to run and check the extra “line” on the wing to be double sure. HA!

  2. This year I’m seeing both Vanessas in my garden; most years I mainly see the painted lady. My biggest problem is remember which one I’m looking at! (“Now, do the 2 big eye spots on the underside of the rear wing signal
    American lady or painted lady? How about the blurred eyespots on the topside of that rear wing?”)

  3. Ricardo Avila said:

    Beautiful insect!

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