The Painted Lady can be found on all continents except for Antarctica and South America. When the wings are opened, the upper part of the wings are orangish-brown with black patches and white spots on the top. When the wings are closed the undersides are gray, black and brown marbled pattern with four black spots at the center.


Painted Lady” by David Marvin, licensed under (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


Painted Lady Facts

Butterfly Family: Brush-footed Butterflies (Nymphalidae)

Butterfly Subfamily: Nymphalinae

Butterfly Wingspan: 2 – 2 7/8 inches

Butterfly Habitat: Almost everywhere, especially in open or disturbed areas including gardens, old fields, and dunes


Painted Lady Host and Nectar Plants

Host Plants: More than 100 hosts plants have been noted, favorites include:

  • Thistles
  • Mallow
  • Hollyhock
  • Various Legumes

Nectar Plants: Painted Lady prefers nectar from flowers 3-6 feet high, favorites include:

  • Thistles
  • Asters
  • Cosmos
  • Blazing Star
  • Ironweed
  • Joe-Pye Weed
  • Red Clover
  • Buttonbush
  • Privet
  • Milkweeds