North American Ecology (US and Canada)
Vanessa virginiensis (the American painted lady) is resident throughout the United States and southern Canada, and migratory northward from there, and ranges south to Venezuela and the Greater Antilles, straying rarely to southwest Europe and other places (Scott 1986). Habitats are nearly everywhere in open areas from subtropics to lower Canadian zone. Host plants are herbaceous and include species from many families with a preference for Compositae (tribe Inuleae), but also including Borginaceae, Leguminosae, Malvaceae, Urticaceae, Balsaminaceae, and Scrophulariaceae. Eggs are laid on the host plant singly. Individuals overwinter as adults, and possibly pupae. There are variable numbers of flights each year depending on latitude, with many flights all year in the southern parts of their range, and only two flights in the north (Scott 1986).
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