The Painted Lady usually settles with its wings wide open, displaying a chequered pattern of black veins, spots and patches against a background that varies from pale salmon-pink to dull orange. As in the Red Admiral there is a small patch of blue on the bottom corner of each hindwing, and the apex of the forewing is black with shining white markings.
The underside of the forewing is a very pale version of its upperside, but the under hindwing is quite different. It has a mottled and intricate pattern of brown, grey, white and blue, with small and slightly fuzzy blue, black and yellow eyespots.
No other European butterfly is similar to the Painted Lady. It is the palest and pinkest of all the Nymphalids, and appears especially so when flying.
Adult wingspan: 58-74mm.
Range & Habitat:
The butterfly is predominantly a Continental migrant to much of the British Isles. Numbers vary each year but it can be quite common.
This is a regular migrant to the Park with between 10 and 25 records and can appear anywhere within its boundaries. However, a nationwide influx in 1996, along with Red Admirals, resulted in nearly 2,500 being recorded in an eight week period on the Park. A smaller but significant influx also occurred in 2003 when nearly 250 were recorded. While it is likely to have bred on the Park there has been no confirmation.