Painted Lady Butterfly

 

Painted Lady Butterfly photographed in Phipps Conservatory Outdoor Gardens, PA

Which continents enjoy this magnificent butterfly?
Answer: All continents except Antarctica.

How can we understand their ability to colonize and breed in so many diverse places?
Answer: They enjoy many, many different hosting plants.

Where do they winter-over in the Northeastern U.S.? In tree hollows? Under the forest leaf covered floor? Under rocks and fallen timber?
Answer: They don’t winter-over in the Northeastern U.S..

Why don’t they winter-over from Georgia to Maine?
Answer:  They cannot tolerate freezing temperatures.

So where do Vanessa cardui found in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina originate from?
Answer: The Mexican Plateau!

OK. Then which U.S. airlines bring them up from there?
Answer: None. They fly up from south of the border (Mexican) on their own gossamer wings.

in the instant example, the Outdoor Gardens of the Phipps Conservatory offers a gourmet nectar menu for this Painted Lady.

When can we hope to see them in Pittsburgh in 2013?
Answer: Late April to May. Another joy of springtime.

Jeff

 

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