painted lady


painted lady
a butterfly, Vanessa cardui, having brownish-black and orange wings and hind wings each with four eyespots, the larvae of which feed on thistles.
[1745-55]

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Either of two species of butterflies in the genus Vanessa (family Nymphalidae): V. cardui of Africa and Europe or V. virginiensis of North and Central America.

They have broad, elaborately patterned wings of reddish orange, brown, white, and blue. In spring, vast numbers of V. cardui travel thousands of miles across the Mediterranean from Africa to Europe. A few members of the subsequent generation travel south in late summer, but most perish in the northern winter. North American painted ladies travel in spring from northwestern Mexico to the Mojave Desert and sometimes as far as Canada. Their larvae eat plants in the aster family; V. cardui larvae eat thistles and stinging nettles.

American painted lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

E.S. Ross

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 species of butterfly in the brush-footed butterfly family, Nymphalidae (order Lepidoptera), that has broad wings (span about 4 to 5 cm [1.5 to 2 inches]), with beautifully elaborate patterns of reddish orange, pink, brown, white, and blue scales. Vast numbers travel northward in spring across the Mediterranean from Africa to Europe, migrating thousands of kilometres. A few of the next generation travel southward during late summer, but most perish in the northern winter. Painted lady larvae in the Americas feed on plants that are members of the family Compositae, while larvae in Africa and Europe eat thistles and stinging nettles.

      In North America, V. cardui and V. virginiensis are known as the painted lady and American painted lady, respectively. In Europe and Africa, V. cardui is referred to as the painted lady, whereas in Central America V. virginiensis is called the painted lady.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Painted lady — Painted Paint ed, a. 1. Covered or adorned with paint; portrayed in colors. [1913 Webster] As idle as a painted ship Upon a painted ocean. Coleridge. [1913 Webster] 2. (Nat. Hist.) Marked with bright colors; as, the painted turtle; painted… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Painted Lady — For other uses, see Painted Lady (disambiguation). Cynthia (subgenus) Vanessa cardui Conservation status …   Wikipedia

  • painted lady — Thistle This tle, n. [OE. thistil, AS. [thorn]istel; akin to D. & G. distel, OHG. distila, distil, Icel. [thorn]istill, Sw. tistel, Dan. tidsel; of uncertain origin.] (Bot.) Any one of several prickly composite plants, especially those of the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • painted-lady — raudonasis kardelis statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Vilkdalginių šeimos dekoratyvinis augalas (Gladiolus carneus), paplitęs pietų Afrikoje. atitikmenys: lot. Gladiolus carneus angl. painted lady; white Afrikaner šaltinis Valstybinės… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • painted lady — /peɪntəd ˈleɪdi/ (say payntuhd laydee) noun 1. a brightly coloured butterfly, Vanessa cardui, of the family Nymphalidae, which inhabits Europe and North Africa. 2. a rock with a thin layer of opal on one side, giving the impression that the… …   Australian English dictionary

  • painted lady — noun 1. : a migratory butterfly (Vanessa cardui) with wings mottled in brown, orange, and white that has a brown or blackish yellow striped caterpillar often destructive of crop plants 2. : pyrethrum 1 b (2) 3. : painted trillium …   Useful english dictionary

  • painted lady — noun Date: 1753 1. a migratory nymphalid butterfly (Vanessa cardui) with wings mottled in brown, orange, black, and white 2. prostitute 1a …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • painted lady — noun A widespread butterfly, Vanessa cardui Syn: cosmopolite …   Wiktionary

  • painted lady — noun a migratory butterfly with predominantly orange brown wings and darker markings. [Cynthia cardui and related species.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • painted lady — paint′ed la′dy n. ent a butterfly, Vanessa cardui, having brownish black and orange wings and hind wings each with four eyespots • Etymology: 1745–55 …   From formal English to slang