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Painted Lady

Painted Lady
Photo Information
Copyright: Heinz Koloska (wallhalla15) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1767 W: 58 N: 3350] (13829)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-07
Categories: Insects
Camera: Fujifilm Finepix S7000
Exposure: f/6.8, 1/478 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Painted Ladies [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-07-19 3:55
Viewed: 3403
Points: 34
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Painted Lady

The Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) is a well-known colourful butterfly, known in North America as the Cosmopolite.

It is one of the most widespread of all butterflies, found on every continent except Antarctica. In Australia, V. cardui has a limited range around Bunbury, Fremantle and Rottnest Island. However, its close relative, the Australian Painted Lady (Vanessa kershawi, sometimes considered a subspecies) ranges over half the continent. Other closely related species are the American Painted Lady (Vanessa virginiensis), and the West Coast Lady (Vanessa anabella).

The Painted Lady occurs in any temperate zone, including mountains in the tropics. The species is resident only in warmer areas, but migrates in spring, and sometimes again in autumn. For example, it migrates from North Africa and the Mediterranean to Britain in May and June, but offspring produced there die in the Autumn.

The caterpillars feed on a wide variety of host plants of the families Compositae (especially thistle), Boraginaceae, Malvaceae (especially hollyhocks and dwarf mallow (Malva neglecta), and a number of legumes. The adults drink nectar from a variety of wildflowers and cultivars, more commonly the favored thistle, butterfly bush (Buddleia), asters, Tickseed sunflowers (Bidens) and zinnias.

Distinguishing features
In general, the Painted Lady is a large butterfly (wing span can range from 2 - 2 7/8 inches long) identified by the black and white corners of its mainly orange wings.

The American Painted Lady (V. virginiensis) is most easily distinguishable by its two large eyespots on the ventral side, whereas cardui has four small eyespots. virginiensis also features a small white dot within the orange subapical field. which shows on both the dorsal and ventral sides. A less reliable indicator is the row of spots on the submarginal hindwing; while cardui typically has a row of small black spots, virginiensis often has two larger outer spots with blue pupils. In its summer form, however, cardui also sometimes has small blue pupils, so it is the two larger spots which best distinguish virginiensis.

The West Coast Lady (V. anabella) does not have obvious ventral eyespots. On the dorsal side, anabella lacks the distinctive white dot of virginiensis, and is a deeper, more consistent orange than both virginiensis and cardui; anabella has a fully orange subapical band and leading edge on the forewing, while in the other species these areas are often pale or tinged with white. The submarginal row of hindwing spots in anabella features three or four blue pupils. The two larger pupils in anabella are the inner spots, rather than the outer spots as in virginiensis.

The Australian Painted Lady (V. kershawi) is similar to V. cardui. However, its four ventral eyespots are less clearly defined, and it always sports at least three (often four) blue pupil spots on its dorsal hindwing. A major food plant is Ammobium alatum.

Info from wikipedia.com

red45, ddg, valy67, AndyB, elroyie, scottevers7, Fisher, aido, phlr, coasties, jmp, firelord, Christopher_PL has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2006-07-19 3:58]

Hello Heinz!
One of my favourite butterflies. I like composition here with colorfull flower. Very nice wings with sharp patterns on them. Sunny and summer picture. Good work my friend!

  • Great 
  • ddg Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 867 W: 24 N: 1008] (5507)
  • [2006-07-19 4:07]

Hello Heinz, very nice composition with colors that blend well. Great sharpness and well framed too. Well seen and well done, best regards, good hot day!! Didier.

beautiful and colored image
excellent specifications.

Hello Heinz !
I only saw photos from this butterfly with wings open, he's also very beautiful with its wongs closed, I love the patterns. Details, colors, composition and POV are wonderful, as well as the green BG. Very well done !

  • Great 
  • AndyB Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1366 W: 32 N: 1351] (3982)
  • [2006-07-19 4:43]

Hello Heinz,
A nice capture of this Painted lady.
An excellent POV,great colours and detail.
I hope to find one of these here this summer.
Great shot,TFS

Hi Heinz,
Haven't visited you photos for a while and that is not correct. This is a very stunning one showing the bottom of the wings i.o. the most shown top. The eyes in the wings are very beautiful and so the the structure of it. I like the butterfly is eating and that it show us some of it habitat. Maybe a little shallower DOF would give you a even more blured b/g, but that is really nit picking.

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2006-07-19 5:42]

Hi Heinz,

A great colorfull shot of this painted lady,well seen and captured,


Hello Heinz,
What a great composotion, great work, very colorful, great sharp details, Bg, DOF perfect Job, TFS kyle

Great colours and very good composition, you had an excellent light and you used it successfuly for this frame.

Hi Heinz,
Just time for a very quick visit.
Nice shot. Thanks for posting.

Hi Heinz,

Beautiful capture, excellent deatils and composition.


  • Great 
  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2006-07-19 14:02]

Hello Heinz,
This is a really beautiful Butterfly and it's a great shot. Excellent exposure and light, wonderful lively colours and nicely framed. Well isolated against the distant BG and I like the inclusion of the green leaves at the bottom left, it adds balance to the composition. Great work.

  • Great 
  • phlr Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 130 N: 882] (2821)
  • [2006-07-19 18:12]

Colourfull painted Heinz!
Such a beautiful photo!
Perfect on everything!
5*, keep on going and TFS!

Hi Heinz

Great shot. Well done on the composition, POV and sharpness. :-)

  • Great 
  • chiliu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1457 W: 0 N: 1176] (6526)
  • [2006-07-19 22:57]

Hi Heinz,
Beautiful capture! Very nice colours and excellent details, great composition.
Very well done!

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2006-07-20 3:20]

Hi Heinz,
Details, colors, pose, pov and composition are simply perfect!
Lovely shot!
TFS, JosÚ M.

  • Great 
  • Graal Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 751 W: 31 N: 20] (5100)
  • [2006-07-20 3:29]

Hi Heinz,
you're master of butterflies, another great portrait. Good composition and colours, excellent quality as always. Good work.
Rgs, Aleksander

Nice shot of one of the most beautiful Summer butterflies. Perfect colours and composition. Thanks


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