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American (Painted) Ladies (Vanessa virginiensis)

They look very similar to the Painted Ladies, but stay inside North America and are routinely seen here in North Carolina during the warmer half of the year.  The time of the year that you see this kind of butterfly isn't a very good predictor of how worn it'll be since there are several broods over a very long summer, and many are resident in North Carolina.

I saw very few in the summer of 2005, in stark contrast to previous years.

American Lady, North Carolina Zoo Butterfly Garden, 10/31/04.  This individual is showing some wear and tear. American Lady, Durham, NC, 7/24/03.  This butterfly must have gotten a really early start to look so worn in midsummer! American Lady, 4/27/04, North Carolina Botanical Garden (wooded part).   American Lady, Durham, 6/30/05.  This butterfly was flying rapidly across a grassy, recently mowed field, making just a few short stops.  It did not alight on any of the white clover blossoms. American Lady, Fort Fisher Basin Trail, New Hancock County, NC,  12/15/03.  This butterfly was still alive after at least one bad cold snap, but one of just a few in this area.

 

American Lady, Duke Gardens, 9/17/05