American Lady Butterfly
American Lady Butterfly Coloration, Characteristics and Size
The orange and black American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) is a popular butterfly across many landscapes. White spots are located on the tips of the forewing. The female lays pale yellow-green eggs.
Its size ranges from 1.75" - 2.75".
Distribution and Habitat
The American Lady prefers open areas with low vegetation, weedy fields, and woodland clearings. Unable to survive cold winters, adults overwinter in warm southern regions.
It ranges across most of the United States except for the northwest.
Painted Lady Butterfly Identification
The American Lady has two large eyespots on the hindwing below, whereas the Painted Lady has four eyespots. Need a way to remember this fact? "American" has four syllables, while "Painted" has two ... but the number of spots is opposite those numbers!
On the forewing, the American Lady features a white dot on an orange spot, not seen on the Painted Lady.
Nectar and Host Plants Used by the American Lady
Host plants include plants in the sunflower family, asters, pussytoes, everlasting, evax, ironweed, cudweed.
The American Lady feeds on nectar from a variety of flowers, and also on tree sap and decaying fruit.
American Lady Butterfly Life Cycle Stages and Times
|Egg stage||4 to 14 days|
|Caterpillar (larval) stage||2 to 4 weeks|
|Chrysalis (pupal) stage||7 to 14 days|
|Adult butterfly stage||6 to 20 days|
Photos of American Lady Butterflies
American Lady Butterfly (dorsal view) feeding on Butterfly Bush
American Lady butterfly, a bit tattered and worn, enjoying the blooms on a white Butterfly Bush
American Lady on a pink Zinnia
American Lady on a white Zinnia
The beautiful American Lady Butterfly
American Lady on a white Butterfly Bush
American Lady (ventral view)