Painted Lady - Vanessa cardui
The painted lady has a wingspan of 2-3 inches. It has scalloped orange wings with black patches. The tips of its forewings are black with white splotches. Its underside is a mottled gray, brown, and black with four eyespots. The painted lady is also called the thistle butterfly because it likes thistles and the cosmopolitan butterfly because it is found all over the world.
The painted lady is found on all continents, except for Australia and Antarctica. It is the most widespread species of butterfly in the world. In North America, it is found from sub-Arctic Canada south to Panama. The painted lady is found throughout New Hampshire.
The female painted lady lays single pale green eggs on host plants. The eggs hatch in 3-5 days. The caterpillar is purple to black in color and has yellow and green strips and is covered in spines. It pupates in 5-10 days. The painted lady butterfly emerges from the chrysalis in 7-10 days.
Video Credit: US Fish and Wildlife