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Painted Lady caught by Misumena vatia (?) - Vanessa virginiensis

Painted Lady caught by Misumena vatia (?) - Vanessa virginiensis
Bruce Peninsula National Park, Bruce, Ontario, Canada
June 4, 2010
The spider is most likely Misumena vatia, but it would be nice to confirm.

Moved from ID Request.

The butterfly is an "American Painted Lady"
Vanessa virginiensis

Common name
David, is that the official name? Both my field guides list the two as "American Lady" and Painted Lady."

American Lady
Appears to be the more recent name - I have an older guide or two that uses "American Painted Lady"

There are lots of common names for some butterflies,
and some are declared as "official" by some lists and publications, but then some other book will use something different. American Lady is just short for American Painted Lady, and they are used interchangeably (along with some other derivations). Some prefer to call it "Hunter's Butterfly" which is probably older than either of the others, and in Spanish they are often called "Dama Dos Ojos" (or similar) due to the two large eye spots below (other "Painted Ladies" have more "Ojos"). Can be confusing, but common names often exist in multiples (they especially tend to vary geographically and with language spoken).

Ironically, all of the Painted Ladies (there are several) are American [except for one sometimes separated as a distinct species in Australia]. The Painted Lady itself (or "Cosmopolitan") is found almost all over the world though, not just the Americas.

I just noticed something else interesting about the one in your photo, though it has nothing to due with names. The front right wing is under the hind right wing instead of the other way, so in this photo you can see the entire underside of the front wing (usually you can't). Sometimes this happens when they have a run in with a bird, a gust of wind, or perhaps a tree branch, and usually they get it sorted out eventually.


Yes, good call
Misumena vatia, female

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