Painted Lady

Vanessa cardui (59.0240)

The Painted Lady is a common butterfly in Warwickshire. Numbers increase during the summer months peaking in June through to September. They are often seen feeding on flowering buddleia and ivy during late summer.

Habitat Requirements

The species may be seen in a wide range of habitat from gardens to post-industrial sites and improved grassland used for grazing cattle and sheep. Locations where nettles and thistles are left to grow in abundance are a magnet for female Painted Lady butterflies seeking a place to lay their eggs.

Larval Foodplants

Mostly thistles (Cirsium spp. and Carduus spp.). Mallow (Malva spp.) and Common Nettle (Urtica dioica) are also used.

Garden Tips

Planting nectar sources such as buddleia will attract the adult butterflies, especially in late summer and autumn. Numbers vary greatly from year to year depending upon the breeding success following the initial migration phase from mainland Europe earlier in the year.

Distribution in Warwickshire

The Painted Lady can be found throughout Warwickshire. It is a widespread species and can be numerous at times where suitable habitat allows.

Distribution of the Painted Lady 1995-2004 inclusive


Distribution of the Painted Lady 2005-2009 inclusive


Distribution of the Painted Lady 2010-2014 inclusive


Distribution of the Painted Lady 2015-2019 inclusive


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