The American Painted Lady belongs to the butterfly family called Nymphalidae. This species is also known by the common names Painted Beauty and Virginia Lady. This butterfly is found from Canada throughout the United States and Mexico, and into Central America.

 

Adults are rather orange in color and are marked in complicated patterns of black, white, blue and pink (on the under side). If you look real close you can see a "jack-o-lantern" face in the front wing.

 

The American Painted Lady lays its small pale green eggs singly, on the top of its host plants. Newly hatches larvae are black, have black spines that are branching, narrow yellow cross-bands and a row of white spots on each side.

Older larvae have greenish bands with black lines across their body. They have black, red and white spots along their back. Older larvae also have the large, branching black spines.

When full grown larvae form a chrysalis. The chrysalis is yellow- green and has gray patches and yellow spots. It is about one inch long.

This butterfly has a wingspan of about 1 3/4 - 2 inch. They have two to three generations each year and adults may be found from April to October. They spend the winter, in protected places, in the adult or pupal stage.

Look for the American Painted Lady in sunny areas, along road and stream sides, in parks and meadows, and in your flower gardens.