View painted lady butterfly pictures below.
The painted lady (Cynthia cardui) is a member of the ‘Aristocrats’ family. The aristocrats together with the family of fritillaries make up a large family of British butterflies known as the nymphalids.
The nymphalids are distinguishable from other butterflies by their non functional front legs which are covered in long hair and held forward towards the head giving the impression they only have four legs instead of six.
The early butterflies lay eggs on a variety of wild plants including stinging nettles, mallows, thistles and burdocks. They lay their eggs singly on the upper surface of the food plant and when hatched the caterpillar is black with yellow spines and a yellow stripe down each side of the body. This generation will lead to a new population of painted lady butterflies in September – October but they must migrate south or die before winter arrives.
Like many other butterflies and insects the painted lady butterfly is attracted to the nectar of the flowers of the buddleia bush which is nicknamed the ‘butterfly bush’ and also the flower of the scabious plant.
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