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American Lady Butterfly

Natural History

The American Lady Butterfly, though similar to the Painted Lade Butterfly, can be distinguished by the two large eye spots on the underside of their hindwings. In addition, the white markings on the upper wings tips are fewer in number; and it has two large blue spots on the upper hind wings. The top of the butterfly is mainly orange in color with a bright, uneven pattern of brown, yellow and white.

American Lady Butterflies are partial to the nectar of yellow flowers.

The butterfly can be found throughout much of Arizona except for the extreme southwest portions as well as in New Mexico, California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado. It typically lives in open areas such as fields, meadows, roadsides and gardens in a wide variety of habitats. Adults typically fly from March through November and eat nectar from a variety of flower species. Host plants for the butterfly include cud weed, thistles and nettles.

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