Muuuh Wildlife Photography

Painted Lady - Vanessa cardui

The Painted Lady is one of the most widespread butterflies, except Australia, South America and Antarctica, and can be spotted usually in warmer areas but migrates North in Spring. Migration patterns are erratic, so that the species doesn’t appear abundantly every year in the Montreal area.

Common Names

  • Painted Lady (en)
  • Vanesa de los cardos (es)
  • Belle-Dame, Vanesse des chardons (fr)
  • Distelfalter (de)


  • Lepidoptera
  • Nymphalidae
  • Vanessa cardui

Where & When to Spot

They appear in waves, passing through an area on their migratory pathways, but not regularly every year. I observed them in autumn 2017 in Rapids Park Lachine. You may want to subscribe to our Facebook page. I will notify when I see them.

How to Identify

To identify this species, a ventral view is necessary as the series of smaller spots on the hindwing is a distinguishable characteristics if compared with similar species like the American Lady..


Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)

Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)

Rapids Park Lachine - 2017-09-23

NIKON D500; 90mm f/2.8; Focal Length 90mm; Exposure 1/2000; Aperture f6.3; Iso 720;

Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)

Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)

Rapids Park Lachine - 2017-09-16

NIKON D500; 150-600mm f/5.0-6.3; Focal Length 600mm; Exposure 1/1250; Aperture f6.3; Iso 900;

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