Vanessa cardui

Vanessa cardui (Linnaeus)

Common Names

Painted Lady (English), فراشة السيدة الحسناء( ابو دقيق الخبازى) (Arabic), Vanesse du chardon (French), belle dame (French)

Languages: English



Size: 54-58 mm. Unmistakable.The forewings are brown. On the wing leading edge there is a big white spot. The wing is black and there is a chain of little white spots. There is a chain of big, black spots on the wing. The underside is a copy from upside, but there are some differences. The wing is grey. Nearby the body there is a pink area. The hind wings are brown. At the margin there are three chains of black spots. In the middle of the wing there is a black spot. The underside is brown and marmorate. At the margin there is a chain of little eyes. The body is brown. Sex differences: None. The caterpillar reaches 2.8 cm in length, has a black body with white dots, yellowish-black spines, and a yellow line along each side .


Status in Egypt





Not Assessed (not resident in Egypt)

Ecology and Distribution

Global Distribution

Widespread (Holarctic). everywhere in the world except South America, the Arctic, and Australia.

Distribution in Egypt



102 records. Latest in 2007 (St Katherine)


Occurs in any area with flowers.

Life Cycle

The eggs are laid singly and hatched after about a week. The larvae create a tent-like shelter of leaves spun together with silk, within which feeding takes place, and pupate inside these shelters. The adults emerge after about two weeks and it has several generations per year.

The Flight Period


Trophic Strategy

Host-plants: a wide range, especially Malva.


[Anonymous] (2005).  TrekNature (Learning about nature through photography).
[Anonymous] (2011).  Butterfly Corner . net.
F., Gilbert., & S. Zalat. (2007).  Butterflies of Egypt: Atlas, Red Data Listing & conservation, Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs, Cairo, Egypt..