Painted Lady

1/2500 f14.0 ISO4000 Canon EOS-1D X, EF180mm f/3.5L Macro USM

The American Painted Lady, (Vanessa virginiensisis) is a well-known colorful butterfly. In its life cycle, the eggs take 3 to 5 days to hatch. The eggs are tiny, as tiny as a sugar crystal. They are green and can be observed best with a magnifying glass. The caterpillar takes 7 to 11 days to turn into a chrysalis. At this stage the caterpillar eats a great deal of mallow and other types of plants. Before entering its chrysalis, the caterpillar will molt several times because of how quickly it grows in such a short period of time. The molt appears as a black speck, what looks like dirt. Many people believe this to be the excretion of the caterpillar, but it is truly the molt (the skin the caterpillar has grown out of). It takes 7 to 11 days for the chrysalis to turn into a butterfly. The painted lady butterfly travels around 1000 miles in its life. Its wingspan is 2 inches. The painted lady caterpillar is black with spiked skin.
Boulder County, Colorado