The Cynthia group of colourful butterflies, commonly called painted ladies, comprises a subgenus of the genus Vanessa in the Family Nymphalidae. They are well known throughout most of the World.
The group includes:
- Painted lady (Vanessa cardui), which is almost global in its distribution
- Australian painted lady (Vanessa kershawi)
- American (painted) lady (Vanessa virginiensis)
- West Coast lady (Vanessa annabella).
The Painted lady (V. cardui) is a large butterfly (wing span 5–9 cm (2.0–3.5 in)) identified by the black and white corners of its mainly deep orange, black-spotted wings. It has five white spots in the black forewing tips and while the orange areas may be pale here and there, there are no clean white dots in them. The hindwings carry four small submarginal eyespots on dorsal and ventral sides. Those on the dorsal side are black, but in the summer morph sometimes small blue pupils are present in some. source