To distinguish these mid-sized orange-brown brush-footed butterflies from the similar Painted Ladies, remember that American Ladies have big eyes and an open mind.  The big eyes refer to the two large eyespots on the underside of the hindwing (Painted and West Coast Ladies have multiple small eyespots) while the open mind refers to the black ring of markings on the upperside of the forewing, which tend to be broken (open) on American Ladies and closed on Painted Ladies.  


A wide variety of open areas. 

Flight Period

Throughout warm weather.

Caterpillar Foodplants

Pearly everlastings (Anaphalis) and other plants in the aster family (Asteraceae).

Other Notes

Painted Ladies cannot stand freezing temperatures, they move northward each year to re-populate most of the United States. 

Scientific Information

Scientific Name - Vanessa virginiensis