Butterflies of St. Columba's - Painted Lady
Painted Lady (Cynthia cardui) This is a migrant species which comes up from the south and is only seen occasionally, but when it visits there can be large numbers of them as in 2009. At first glance it can be mistaken for a tortoiseshell but closer inspection shows that it lacks the distinctive blue semicircles along the trailing edge of the hind wings. It is on the wing between June and August. The yellow-green striped, purple to black caterpillar has long spines on each segment and feeds on thistles.