“Painted Lady” Migration – Southern California Skies Filled With Butterflies

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The skies of Southern California filled with butterflies as the annual “painted lady” migration is taking place. Some people were surprised by the number of creatures which could be spotted in several areas of the region.

Some managed to shoot some impressive photos and uploaded the images on social media platforms. The butterflies are coming from the Mexican deserts, and they will fly for as long as they can, with some of them reaching the Pacific Northwest.

M. Shapiro, a professor at the University of California, has noted that the researchers are already anticipating the arrival of the butterflies. That is an excellent season for the windflower, which means that painted lady butterflies will come in abundance. The last major event took place in 2005 when billions of butterflies could be seen.

Painted lady migration filled Southern California skies with butterflies

Recent reports note that the butterflies, which are classified under the scientific name of Vanessa cardui, were already spotted in Temecula, and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Other sightings took place in Pasadena and Coachella Valley.

North American populations of painted lady butterflies will move to west Texas and northern Mexico during the winter season. They will spend time quite a bit of time in the desert, where caterpillars will consume some of the annual desert plants, among which we can count families of thistles, borages, and mallows.

The majestic creatures may be beautiful, but their life expectancy is quite small. According to researchers, the life span is up to six weeks, but most of them will leave for a shorter amount of time. Waves of migration will take the first generation of butterflies to Northern California where they will breed until the weather becomes colder. When winter is on its way, the new generation will begin its trip back to the warm deserts where they will remain until springs arrive again.

The butterflies can live in most environments, but they prefer zones which are more open, like fields, gardens, and dunes.