A: Since we were both standing outside and looking at the butterfly visiting the blackberry flowers at the Yulee Fruit Demonstration garden, it was easy to identify. The butterfly is called an American Painted Lady or American Lady, Vanessa virginiensis. The American lady occurs from southern Canada throughout the U.S. and southward to northern South America and is seen occasionally in Europe, Hawaii, and the larger Caribbean islands. The wing spread of adults is 1.75 to 2.40 inches (Daniels 2003). The upper surface of the wings is orange-brown with black margins. The front wings have white spots on the outer third. The lower side of the front wings has a bright pink area. Part of the forewing margin is concave — one of the characteristics that distinguishes it from the similar and closely related painted lady, Vanessa cardui (Linnaeus). The lower side of the hind wing has a characteristic “cob-web” pattern and two large eye spots near the margin. By contrast, the painted lady has a row of four smaller eye spots. Preferred plant hosts for larvae are “everlasting” or “cudweed” herbs and their close relatives in the aster family. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/IN/IN82300.pdf
Q: Can you tell me about this butterfly?