Reddish Vale Country Park
No other British butterfly has the rosy-orange upperside and black wing tips marked with white. The underside of the forewing resembles the upperside.
The painted lady is a long distance migrant, which causes the most spectacular butterfly migrations observed in Britain and Ireland.
Each year, it spreads northwards from the desert fringes of North Africa, the Middle East and central Asia, re-colonizing mainland Europe and reaching Britain and Ireland. In some years it is an abundant butterfly.
A wide range of food plants may be used by the painted lady with thistles being preferred, but may also feed on mallows, common nettles, viper's- bugloss and various other cultivated plants.
Because it is a wide ranging migrant, the painted lady may be seen in any habitat. Adults tend to congregate in open areas with plenty of thistles, which serve as larval food plants and nectar sources for adults.
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