Friday, 6 January 2017

Painted Lady

The Painted lady is an overseas visitor from North Africa and Southern Europe and, is commonly found throughout Europe. The first butterflies normally arrive in Britain late April, early May, in very small numbers, spreading across all four corners of the British Isles.  In good years, [like 2009] they can arrive on our shores in their thousands, but this is a rare occurrence.

Both sexes are alike. But, can vary in size, which is quite common.

Once the females have been mated, they lay their eggs on various Thistles, and sometimes Common Nettle and Mallow Flowers are used. The tiny larva hatch after about a week.

The larva live secretively, in tents made of leaves, similar to that of the Red Admiral larva. There are 4 moults in total, [5 instars].

In Britain they are commonly found nectaring on purple flowers, such as Thistles and Knapweed etc. In Europe they can be found feeding on one of their favourite flowers, Sticky Fleabane.They also spend a lot of time on the ground, wings spread open soaking up the sun.

Painted Lady on Sticky Fleabane, Malta
Female Painted Lady, Turkey
Male Painted Lady feeding on Hardheads, U.K.
Painted Lady commonly found on the ground soaking up the sun

All photographs are the copyright of Nick Broomer

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