Painted Lady

Vanessa cardui


Wingspan 58 - 74mm. The wings are a lovely pinkish-orange with black markings and the fore-wings have black tips, marked with a pattern of white spots. The undersides of the hind wings are marked in shades of brown with a row of ocelli along the rear edge.


Mostly open country with hedgerows and corners well stocked with thistles. The adults feed on the nectar and the caterpillars feed on the leaves.

Status and distribution

Common and widespread in Britain. Common in Nottinghamshire and at Netherfield Lagoons. This is a very migratory species and can turn up in thousands in good years.

Best time to see

March to October.