This photo was taken in Glacier National Park, Montana, in August 2005. What type of butterfly is it? Is it a really common butterfly that is all over the US or is it more common in a certain area? (I’m from Florida). I compared it to the photos on your website and it looks like the photo of a painted lady…is that right? Anything interesting you can tell me about it?
You are absolutely correct. This is a Painted Lady, Vanessa cardui. It is sometimes called the Cosmopolitan as it is the butterfly with the most worldwide distribution. This is also a migratory species, though not as well known as the Monarch. It yearly migrates from northern Mexico in huge impressive swarms to repopulate the western U.S.