I was trying to photograph a False Gerbera (Haplocarpha scaposa) next to the road when this Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) alighted in front of my lens!

This is probably the most well-known and widespread butterfly in the world and occurs all over South Africa. I rather like the Afrikaans name for it, Sondagsrokkie, meaning Sunday’s Dress, a tribute to the pretty pattern of colours on the wings, which are a rich tawny colour with black markings and white spots.

The underside of the wings are mottled with yellow, white and brown.

The males and females are similar and can grow to between 40 and 50 mm. It has a characteristic flap-gliding flight pattern that draws one’s attention to it.


11 thoughts on “PAINTED LADY

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