Painted Lady Butterflies
A Pretty Lady Could Be Visiting Your Place Soon
If a pretty Painted Lady finds her way into your backyard this month, don't get jealous! Enjoy her astounding beauty, and her gorgeous colours and patterns.
The Australian Painted Lady butterfly migrates from place to place and loves to visit gardens. In southern Australia, the best time to spot her is after a few warm, sunny days at the end of winter, and from spring to autumn.
In the northern part of the Painted Lady butterfly's range, this beautiful lady is around all year. Lucky!
The Painted Lady isn't shy about showing off her stunning wings. Whenever she comes to a rest or stops to feed, she spreads her wings out low for all to see.
When the Painted Lady spreads her wings, it's not just for you to enjoy. It's also to keep predators away. Her vibrant colours and patterns advertise that she's likely to be poisonous if eaten by a bird or other animal.
Butterflies also do this to soak in the sun and to show off their patterns to potential mates.
Having butterflies in your garden, or spotting them when you go for a walk, is a good indicator that the local environment is healthy. Butterflies are attracted to gardens with lots of nectar-giving plants that they can feed on.
Butterflies love flowering plants like Native Finger Lime, Banksia, Bottlebrush (Callistemon) and Eucalyptus. However, the most important factor for their breeding is plants that they can eat while they are caterpillars.
Plant some Capeweed Arctotheca calendula, Everlastings Helichrysum, and Golden Everlasting Xerochrysum bracteatum for Painted Lady caterpillars to feed on, and you're likely to have some cute brown visitors to your garden that turn into lovely butterflies.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Painted Lady butterfly is such a strong flier with such amazing wing muscles that it can fly over oceans. Ships have reported seeing butterflies flying around them in the middle of the sea.
To attract Painted Lady butterflies, plant Sunset Serenade Boronia muelleri, Native Daisy Brachyscome multifida varieties, Golden Buttons Chrysocephalum apiculatum and other nectar giving plants.