Painted Lady

Vanessa cardui
(Cynthia cardui)

Painted Lady, Vanessa cardui, from Eldoret, Kenya. Photo © by Michael Plagens

Observed in an urban garden, Eldoret, Kenya, July 2014.

This widespread migrating butterfly is common in the temperate highland areas of Kenya. Among their many larval host plants are sunflowers which are also cultivated the highlands of Kenya. This same butterfly species ranges across Asia, Europe and North America. Individual butterflies have been documented to travel 1000 km or more. The migratory status of Kenya's painted lady butterflies would be a worthy research project. The mostly black, spiny larvae (caterpillars) can be found within silken tents on thistles. The larva below was found at Eldoret in December 2015.

Larva Painted Lady, Vanessa cardui, on Cirsium vulgare from Eldoret, Kenya. Photo © by Michael Plagens

Nymphalidae -- Brush-footed Butterfly Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens. Page created 23 September 2014,
updated 7 Jan. 2016.