Santa Barbara Field Guides – Butterflies|
West Coast Lady
wingspread 1.5-1.8 in.|
Recognition: Tip of FW is flat (squared) rather than curved (rounded) like that on V. cardui; orange marking in mid-leading FW, not white like other Painted and American Ladies; row of spots on bottom HW have distinct blue center.
Flight period: Flies all year, but is common from February to November.
Hostplants: Larvae feed on plants in the mallow family (Malvaceae), including Malva, Sphaeralcea, and Sidalcea.
Habitat: Various habitats including fields, gardens, lots, urban environments, and hillsides.
Distribution: Along the West coast, from British Columbia into Mexico, but rare in deserts, it prefers lowlands. There is a permanent population on Santa Cruz Island.