Photo © Mike Wall

Painted Lady

Vanessa cardui

Checklist Number
59.024 [B&F: 1591]

Record requires retention of specimen until confirmed, and may require dissection. Consult with CMR if unsure


Authority:(Linnaeus, 1758)

Common immigrant from mainland Europe and Fennoscandia, appearing throughout the British Isles, in most years arriving in sufficient numbers to breed; huge numbers arrived in a massive influx of this species in 2009. In Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight abundant in some years, quite uncommon in others. Wingspan 64-70 mm. Very similar to American Painted Lady, but underside of hindwing has row of many small spots, two large spots in American Painted Lady. Larva feeds on Thistle, unable to over-winter in significant numbers.