North American Ecology (US and Canada)
provided by North American Butterfly Knowledge Network
Vanessa atalanta is resident across the United States and southern Canada, migrating further north into Canada, and ranges south to Guatemala and the Greater Antilles. It is also native to northern Africa and Eurasia, and established elsewhere (Scott 1986). Habitats are almost everywhere from the subtropics to the edge of the arctic tundra. Host plants are herbaceous; known hosts include species mostly from family Urticaceae and also one species from Moraceae. Eggs are laid on the host plant singly. Individuals overwinter as adults (possibly pupae). There are two flights in the northern part of the range, with approximate flight times late June-early Aug., and four or more flights nearly all year in the southern part of their range. Several known mass flights indicate great movements of this species. (Scott 1986).