skip to content
  • painted lady

Painted lady

Pictured: painted lady, Vanessa cardui

Notes from Jenyns: Common in certain seasons, & at such times pretty generally distributed, ~ but in others~ wholly unknown. ~ In 1826, it was particularly abundant in the neighbourhood of Bottisham. ~ Occurred also at Ely, Teversham, & Cambridge. ~ There appear to be two broods in the year, of which the last is on wing till the middle of October, or even later, ~ if the weather be mild. ~ Abundant in the years 1818, 1826, & 1846.

200-year trend in Cambridgeshire: Slight increase.

Modern records

This species is a regular migrant to the UK and in some years can reach very large numbers, but as with all of our migrant butterflies this varies year to year. Jenyns’ notes illustrate that this has been the case for at least 200 years: at ‘times being pretty generally distributed’ but in others ‘wholly unknown’. The species is benefitting from climate change, with records in every year now, but for some years it is still rather scarce, though never ‘wholly unknown’ as it was in the past.

National records map

Painted lady national records map: