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Painted Lady
  Vanessa cardui Linnaeus, 1758
Cosmopolitan, (Wanari)
 
 
     
 
 
Scientific classification
 
Kingdom : Animalia
Phylum : Arthropoda
Class : Insecta
Order : Lepidoptera
Family : Nymphalidae
Genus : Vanessa
Species : V. cardui
   
   
Binomial name
  Vanessa cardui Linnaeus, 1758
   
   
Synonyms
 

Papilio cardui  Linnaeus, 1758

   
   
Status in Sri Lanka
  Rare
   
   
Wingspan
  52-65 mm
   
   
Host plant
  The larvae feed on Artemisia and other species belonging to family Urticaceae, Malvaceae and Compositae.
   
   
Nectaring Plants
   
   
   
Similar species
 
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    Distribution   
      It is found on every continent except Antarctica and South America. It is widely distributed in the world ranging from North America, Asia and Europe to the North sub arctic.  
         
    Color/ pattern  
     
         
    Male ♂   Female ♀
    It is a very colorful butterfly with speckled markings of orange, brown and white.   It is similar as the male.
     
         
    Identification characters of sexes  
         
         
    Habitat  
      It is common throughout the island but prefer open spaces at higher elevations.  
         
    Habits  
     

    This butterfly has a strange pattern of flying in a sort of screw shape and very active. It has a swift flight but is very attracted to flowers. It is one of the first to be seen when the sun struggles to shine through grey clouds in the hill country. The painted lady butterfly travels around 1000 miles in its life and flies most of the island. It favors medium to high elevations, the higher the better. It is also known as a short distance migratory butterfly.

     
         
    Mechanisms to overcome threats  
     
         
    Ovum (Eggs)   Larvae (Caterpillar)
         
         
    Pupa (Chrysalis)   Imago (Winged Adult)
         
     
         
               
     
     
    Ovum (Eggs)
     
    Size :
    tiny as a sugar crystal
     
    Shape
     
     
    Number :
     
     
    Color :
    They are green and can be observed best with a magnifying glass.
     
    Time duration :
    takes 3 to 5 days to hatch
     

    Season :

     
     
     
     
    Larvae (Caterpillar)
     
    Size :
     
     
    Shape :
    It has short branched spines.
     
    Color :
    The moult appears as a black speck, what looks like dirt, near the caterpillar. The painted lady caterpillar is black with spiked skin. There is a dirty yellow double dorsal stripe. The short branched spines have a yellow triangular base.
     
    Time duration :
    The caterpillar takes 7–11 days to turn into a chrysalis. It takes 7–11 days for the chrysalis to turn into a butterfly.
     
    Season :

     

     
     
     
    Pupa (Chrysalis)
     
    Size :
     
     
    Shape :
     
     
    Color :
     
     
    Time duration :
     
     
    Season :
     
     
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