The Painted Lady Butterfly is probably the most widespread butterfly in the world. It has no permanent residence and they are spotted across all the continents. The Painted Butterfly is found in Asia, Africa, Europe, and all over North America. The only place you won’t find one is South America, the Arctic, and Australia. The Painted Lady prefers well-lit, open environments. Such as clover fields, flowery meadows, and hilly countryside. Marshes, sand dunes, and patches of thorn scrubs also draw them in. To try and attracted these butterflies, as well as other forms of wildlife, you could try planting a buddleia plant near your garden shed.
Learn about butterfly behaviour: Camouflage, cooling methods, and survival tactics.
· Migration maps and more: View the Painted Lady’s life history, territorial behaviour and population studies.
The Painted Lady Butterfly anatomy is rather spectacular, 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 grey, brown, and black.
Butterflies have sensors on their wings which require sunlight to let them fly. Essentially, these stunning 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, with tiny scales on their wings that actually give them their colour.
· 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 fulfils its life cycle. Their life span is hugely dependent 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.
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 a (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 colour 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 Painted Lady 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 of them are actually 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.
These truly are stunning creatures and they are an essential part of any functioning ecosystem, pollinating various wildlife. It’s well worth trying to attract these creatures to your home.