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Vanessa cardui...

Good morning and I hope everyone had a nice weekend. Featured today for Butterfly Monday is the first, and only Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) I've seen so far this season. 2012 makes the third year this species has been extremely scarce locally. In years prior to 2010 its numbers were always strong, especially toward the later part of the season.


The Painted Lady is a medium size butterfly with a wing span of 2 - 2 7/8 inches (5.1 - 7.3 cm). It is also known as the Thistle Butterfly (Tistelfjäril in Swedish) because of the caterpillars' food preference, and sometimes as the Cosmopolitan Butterfly because it is one of the most widely distributed butterflies in the world.


As for these photos, they were taken at the reclaimed strip mine when the Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) was first blooming in early June. I only had a few minutes to photograph this butterfly before it flew away, and unfortunately I wasn't able to get any open wing shots. The closest to one is the last photo in the comment section.


Thank you for stopping by...and I hope you have a truly great day and week.




ISO400, aperture f/13, exposure .003 seconds (1/350) focal length 300mm


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Taken on June 9, 2012