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Butterfly  Painted Lady

Painted Lady - Photo  Copyright 2002 Margaret Barton Photo: Margaret Barton

UK Safari Tip:
Need help identifying butterflies? Checkout the beautifully illustrated fold-out chart in the Nature Shop called "Butterflies of Britain" - click here

Latin name: Cynthia cardui

Size: Wingspan approximately 55mm.

Distribution: Found throughout the UK.

Months seen: May to October.

Habitat: Meadows, hedgerows and gardens.

Food: Nectar.

Special features: The painted lady is a summer visitor to Britain. It travels several hundred miles to get here from the north coast of Africa and the south coast of France. They come here for the plentiful supplies of fresh nectar, and also to breed.

The caterpillars feed on nettles, thistle and viper's bugloss. They emerge as butterflies between September and October, and although many die with the onset of cold weather, it is believed that some make the return migration to North Africa in place of their parents.

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UK Safari Butterfly Section

  2006 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved