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Copyright © 2018 Holly D'Oench, All Rights Reserved

The painted lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui) is commonly found on every continent except South America and Antarctica. Another common name for this species in the cosmopolitan.


This species is known for its migration. They fly approximately 9,000 miles round trip to access plants to lay their eggs on. They are known as irruptive migrants which means they migrate independent of seasonal or geographic patterns. Also, the amount seen migrating will vary from year to year. Currently it’s hypothesized that the migration is tied to El Niño events because it affects the weather at their overwintering location in Central America.

Vanessa cardui

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