|scientific name Vanessa virginiensis |
common name American Lady
No defined habitat preferences in Alberta; occurs as a rare migrant only.
There are two Alberta records are from July and one from September.
The two large eyespots on the hindwing underside separate this species from the numerous smaller eyespots of the other ladies (V. cardui and V. annabella). There are no described subspecies.
The caterpillar is black with a complex pattern of yellow or white bands and lateral spots. The spines are black with a red base (Layberry et al. 1998). The American Lady is rare in western Canada, and occurs only as an occasional migrant; it is more common in eastern Canada, where it forms two additional generations after immigrating in May (Layberry et al. 1998). Judging by the dates, the Alberta specimens may have originated from migrants of these second and third generations; perhaps this species 'leap-frogs' northward with progressive generations in good years.
A rare migrant, not established in Alberta.
The larvae feed on member of the aster family (Asteraceae), particularly cudweed (Gnaphalium spp.) and and everlasting (Antennaria spp.) (Layberry et al. 1998). There are no larval records for western Canada (Guppy & Shepard 2001).
Southern Canada (one record from Churchill, MB) south to Colombia (Opler 1999).
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