Painted Lady Butterflies Fly from South of the Mexican Border with their Gossamer Wings

Painted Lady Butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow 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.