American Lady

Subject: Butterfly ID
Location: Pacific Grove, CA
September 23, 2016 11:48 pm
Hi, This butterfly appeared on our back deck and stayed on the flower for quite a while. We think it’s a kind of American Lady. We were curious whether it is color or markings that distinguishes among sub-families. It was in Pacific Grove, California, morning, and spent a lot of time on the flower. Note that because of squirrels we’ve converted from fruit trees to pollinators and installed a very successful beehive. Thanks for taking a look at this. Good luck!
Signature: David

American Lady
American Lady

Dear David,
We agree that this is an American Lady,
Vanessa virginiensis, and according to BugGuide:  “If present (it isn’t always–see below), a white dot in the orange of the forewing distinguishes American Lady from the Painted Lady.”  This BugGuide illustration nicely explains how to distinguish various species.  Though its wings are faded, your individual still shows the telltale white spot.

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