Painted Lady butterfly

Painted Lady Vanessa cardui

Home » North America » Painted Lady Vanessa cardui

Painted Lady butterflies are found in every continent except Antarctica. They can also found in every county of Washington and Oregon.

W Boundary Road, Klamath County, Oregon

42.8705, -121.84775 At Boundary Road where Sand Creek crosses there is a large puddle, with many species of butterflies.

July 9, 2023

Painted Lady butterfly, ventral view
I love the blue crescents on the underwings
dorsal view of Vanessa cardui butterfly
this Painted Lady was very skittish and hard to get good angles for photos

Sparks Lake, Deschutes County, Oregon

44.02537, -121.72817 Wildflower meadow along Sandy Creek at the north end of Sparks lake.

July 10, 2023

ventral view of Painted Lady nectaring on penstemon
note that the forewings clearly not falcate, a quick way to know it isa Painted Lady not a West Coast Lady
dorsal view of Painted Lady butterfly at Sparks Lake meadow
the penstemons were very popular at this site

I’m always happy when I can get both Dorsal and Ventral shots of a butterfly, and I’m thrilled I was able to get both views of the Painted Ladies at both locations.


  • Easiest way to distinguish a Painted Lady from a West Coast Lady is by the white rectangular patch in apex area of forewing, which is orange in V. annabella.
  • Start looking for V. cardui in early Spring, March onward.

I have seen Painted Ladies in multiple locations:

See V. cardui in China.

See V. cardui in Texas.

See V. cardui in Washington.


Leave a Reply

Create a website or blog at