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Ladies (Vanessa genus, Nymphalinae subfamily, Nymphalidae family, Papilionoidea superfamily )

Ladies, along with CrescentsCheckerspots, Buckeyes, and Anglewings, are  members of the "True" Brushfoot (Nymphalinae) sub-family and the Brushfoot (Nymphalidae) family.

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

I've seen Red Admirals most often near large bodies of water, i.e., Jordan Lake in Chatham County and the Atlantic Ocean.  But a couple have showed up in my yard in Durham over the years.  In late July 2007, the Durham area experienced an explosion of Red Admirals.

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta), Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC, 7/12/10 Red Admiral, Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC   7/22/07

American (Painted) Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

American Ladies are found only in North America.  They are usually common in North Carolina in midsummer, but 2005 was an exception to this rule.

American Lady, Duke Gardens, 9/17/05 American Lady, 4/27/04, North Carolina Botanical Garden (wooded part).  

Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)

Painted Ladies are major migrators and have reached most parts of the world.  So they can be described as "widespread" but not "common."  They migrate through North Carolina in some years, and in 2005 they greatly outnumbered the American Lady. 

Painted Lady, Durham, 9/6/05.  You can see significant wing pattern differences. Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Southern Pines, Moore County, NC, 11/2/13


2005-2010 Dorothy E. Pugh