Fun Facts About Painted Lady Butterflies
The painted lady is the most widely distributed butterfly in the world
You can find painted ladies everywhere from meadows to vacant lots. Although it is resident only in warmer climates, it often migrates into colder regions in spring and fall, making it the butterfly with the widest distribution of any species.
It is sometimes called the thistle butterfly or the cosmopolitan butterfly
It’s called the thistle butterfly because thistle plants are its favorite nectar plant for food; it’s also called the cosmopolitan butterfly because of its global distribution.
Painted ladies have unusual migration patterns
These orange butterflies are known to travel annually from the deserts of Southern California to the Pacific Northwest. Recently people are taking notice because of the sheer size of the migration: Scientists estimate the teeming painted ladies number in the millions. Substantial rainfall is the reason for the unusually large swarms. The explosion of plant growth in Southern California that has fueled this migration of butterflies is in itself a spectacle. The growth of colorful wildflowers, called a super bloom, besides attracting the butterflies, has also attracted a steady stream of tourists.
Painted ladies fly fast and far
These medium-sized butterflies can cover a lot of ground, up to 100 miles per day during their migration. A painted lady can reach a speed of nearly 30 miles per hour. Painted ladies seem to be in a hurry like the famous white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, late for a very important date.
Hopefully you’ve had the chance to see them, if not, they’re probably headed your way soon!