Painted Lady butterflies abounding in area
Thousands of Painted Lady Butterflies have been spotted in northeast Kansas recently, and although they can be easily mistaken for Monarchs, this species is unique on its own.
The Painted Lady Butterflies are migratory, traveling from the southern United States and Mexico to the northern U.S. and Canada each year. Prone to mass migrations, the Painted Lady Butterfly is reportedly the most commonly found butterfly in the world.
The Painted Lady Butterfly’s life span is short – less than three weeks. So its main goal is to migrate, mate and reproduce to continue the species.
This butterfly can have two generations per year in Kansas, according to experts at Kansas State Research and Extension.
The adult female butterflies lay their eggs, which are the size of a pinhead, onto plants. The eggs, which are green and barrel-shaped, then hatch in three to five days as caterpillars.
The larvae are often called the thistle caterpillar because of their prevalence on thistle plants. They are spiny, covered with bristles and range in background coloration from mottled, pale green to dark, purplish hues, according to K-State researchers.
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