Vanessa virginiensis, American Painted Lady

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Freshly emerged adult

Freshly emerged adult

Freshly emerged adult

Description: 23-33 mm. This species looks much like Vanessa cardui. Dorsally, they are orange above with dark brown markings. The ventral side has the distinguishing markings. There are two large eyespots on the hindwing unique to V. virginiensis. Males and females are similar. 

 

Habitat and Distribution: Much of North America as well as Central and South America as well. It is rare in the Keys and has only been reported from Key Largo, Elliot Key and Sugarloaf Key.

 

Host Plant: Gnaphalium sps.

 

Natural History: We have not encountered this species in the Keys. It should be concidered a very rare stray.

 

Freshly emerged adult

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