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Media Center

Photo LibraryInsects
Painted Lady Butterfly

The painted lady or thistle caterpillar, Vanessa cardui (L.)
This is probably the most widely distributed butterfly species in the world and has a host range of over 100 species of food plants. Larvae feed primarily on Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop.) and help control populations of this noxious weed. However, H. annuus is a common host and the painted lady has been an occasional pest of sunflower in Canada, the U. S., and Mexico. Occasional outbreaks in the northern Great Plains have resulted in localized severe damage to cultivated fields. Parasitization and bacterial infections generally limit crop damage.




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Painted Lady Butterfly

Name: Painted Lady Butterfly
Description: Painted lady butterfly on a sunflower head
ID Name: SUN105
Size: 77K

Painted Lady Butterfly - Adult

Name: Painted Lady Butterfly - Adult
Description: Adult Painted Lady Butterfly
ID Name: SUN344
Size: 77K

Painted Lady Butterfly Larva

Name: Painted Lady Butterfly Larva
Description: Painted Lady Butterfly Larva on sunflower leaf
ID Name: SUN345
Size: 97K

Thistle Caterpillar

Name: Thistle Caterpillar
Description: Larva of the Painted Lady Butterfly called the Thistle Caterpillar
ID Name: SUN128
Size: 101K


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