Painted Lady Butterfly
The Painted Lady Butterfly is probably the most widespread butterfly in the world since it does not live in just one region or country. The Painted Lady Butterfly is found in Asia, Africa, Europe, and all over the North American continent. The only place you will not find a Painted Lady Butterfly is in South America, the Arctic, and Australia. The Painted Lady prefers well-lit, open environments. Such as clover fields, flowery meadows, and hilly country. Marshes, sand dunes, and patches of thorn scrubs also draw them in. To try and attracted these butterflies you could try planting a buddleia plant near your greenhouse or garden shed.
Learn about butterfly behavior: Camouflage, cooling methods, and survival tactics.
· Beautiful Photos: The Painted Lady Butterfly
· Migration maps and more: View the Painted Lady’s life history, territorial behavior and population studies.
The Painted Lady Butterfly is a beautiful specimen with a forewing that bears a distinct white bar. The hind wing has a row of 5 tiny black dots while the upper side of the freshly emerged butterfly is orange with rose-like overtones. The underside is a spotted gray, brown, and black.
Butterflies have sensors on their wings that need the sun to fly. Essentially, these lovely creatures are solar powered. They are diurnal, which means they are active during the day. The Painted Lady Butterfly has taste sensors on their legs and tiny scales on their wings that give them their color.
· Feeding time: See a close up of a painted lady drinking nectar.
· Close up: See how a butterfly uses its proboscis (tongue) and false front legs to help eat.
· Butterfly Fun Facts: Find out 24 interesting facts about butterflies and their cycles.
The Painted Lady Butterfly has a two-week life span during which time it fulfills its life cycle. Their life span greatly depends upon the climate. Usually, the Painted Lady Butterfly lives for one season or cycle. These butterflies are migratory so they continually brood and do not disperse. The male butterfly will defend territory by perching all afternoon. Once the female Painted Lady Butterfly finds a mate and the reproduction process occurs, she then lays her eggs on a leaf.
The Painted Lady metamorphosis process is a special feature of their growth. There are four stages in the process and after the fourth stage occurs, the adult butterfly flies away looking for a mate to start the whole process over again.
The Egg Stage:
· The female lays many pale-green eggs in a row on a leaf.
· After a seven-day period the baby caterpillars are ready to hatch.
· The caterpillars eat their way out of the egg and then eat the shell.
The Larva Stage:
· A Caterpillar is born with six eyes, a mouth, six functional legs on its thorax (portion of the body between the head and the abdomen) and four pairs of prolegs that are not jointed but serve as balance points for the body.
· A Caterpillar spends its life eating; as it grows bigger it will shed its old skin and emerge with its new body.
· To keep itself attached to leaves a caterpillar will spin a silk thread.
· After two weeks of being a caterpillar it then attaches itself with silk and hangs upside down on a leaf.
· After twenty-four hours the caterpillar’s skin will split exposing the pupa.
The Pupa Stage:
· After the pupa is exposed to air for about an hour it hardens.
· It is bronze in color and hangs with no movement for one week.
· Inside the pupa the caterpillar is changing its body into a butterfly; this process is called metamorphosis.
The Butterfly Stage:
· After the pupa hangs for one week it splits open and a butterfly emerges.
· The butterfly will hang on the leaf for about an hour while its wings straighten out.
· A butterfly has a head, thorax, abdomen and four wings. It also has six legs, however only four are used.
· The butterfly also has two eyes made up of 10,000 lenses.
· The butterfly’s tongue is known as a proboscis. It is used to drink nectar.
· A butterfly can also hear with its two antennae attached to its head.
· A butterfly tastes through its feet and breaths through the side of its body.