Painted Lady (Cynthia cardui): This large and colourful butterfly is a continental visitor, arriving any time from early spring to breed in the UK. The females lay eggs on thistles, where the caterpillars feed until they pupate, emerging about three weeks later as adults. In 2009, tens of millions of Painted Ladies arrived in the UK in late May; their young emerged in summer when a second wave was seen in the UK. Some individuals also migrate south as autumn draws in, returning in large clouds to the continent.

Painted Lady

Painted Lady

Painted Lady

Painted Lady