Vanessa virginiensis - (Drury, 1773)
American Lady
Synonym(s): Cynthia virginiensis
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Vanessa virginiensis (Drury, 1773) (TSN 188600)
French Common Names: vanesse de Virginie
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.120583
Element Code: IILEPK7010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Insects - Butterflies and Moths - Butterflies and Skippers
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mandibulata Insecta Lepidoptera Nymphalidae Vanessa
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Opler, P. A., and A. D. Warren. 2002. Butterflies of North America. 2. Scientific Names List for Butterfly Species of North America, north of Mexico. C.P. Gillette Museum of Arthropod Diversity, Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado. 79 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B02OPL01EHUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Vanessa virginiensis
Taxonomic Comments: Formerly called Vanessa hunteri.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 14Jun2016
Global Status Last Changed: 01Sep1998
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Widespread, abundant, and tolerates disturbance.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (01Sep1998)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5B,N5M (24Aug2017)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S5), Arizona (SNR), Arkansas (SNR), California (SNR), Colorado (SNA), Connecticut (S5), Delaware (S5B), District of Columbia (S4B), Florida (S5), Georgia (S5), Hawaii (SNA), Idaho (SNR), Illinois (SNA), Indiana (S5), Iowa (S5), Kansas (S5), Kentucky (S5B), Louisiana (S5), Maine (S5), Maryland (S5B), Massachusetts (S5), Michigan (S5N), Minnesota (S5B), Mississippi (S5), Missouri (S5), Nebraska (S4), Nevada (SNA), New Hampshire (S5), New Jersey (S5), New Mexico (SNR), New York (S5), North Carolina (S5), North Dakota (SNA), Ohio (S5), Oklahoma (S5), Oregon (SNA), Pennsylvania (SNA), Rhode Island (SNA), South Carolina (S5), South Dakota (SNA), Tennessee (S5N), Texas (S5B), Utah (S3S4), Vermont (S5B), Virginia (S5), Washington (SNA), West Virginia (SNA), Wisconsin (S4), Wyoming (SNA)
Canada Labrador (SNA), Manitoba (S5), New Brunswick (S5B,S5M), Newfoundland Island (SNA), Nova Scotia (S5B,S5M), Ontario (S5), Prince Edward Island (S4B,S4M), Quebec (S5), Saskatchewan (S4)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Subarctic North America south to Mexico. Also naturalized in Hawaii.

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300

Population Size: 10,000 to >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Common in eastern part of range, rarer in western.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) Subarctic North America south to Mexico. Also naturalized in Hawaii.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HIexotic, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY
Canada LB, MB, NB, NF, NS, ON, PE, QC, SK

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AZ Pima (04019)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
15 San Cristobal Wash (15070203)+, Rio Sonoyta (15080102)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: Butterfly, Nymphalidae.
Habitat Type: Terrestrial
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Cliff, Cropland/hedgerow, Grassland/herbaceous, Old field, Sand/dune, Savanna, Shrubland/chaparral, Suburban/orchard, Woodland - Conifer, Woodland - Hardwood, Woodland - Mixed
Habitat Comments: Any disturbed or otherwise open setting with foodplants, easily locating even small forest openings. A transient colonizer and long distance migrant not capable of surviving year round in much of its range.
Adult Food Habits: Nectarivore
Food Comments: Caterpillar Hosts: Plants in the sunflower family everlasting (Gnaphalium obtusifolium), pearly everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea), plantain-leaved pussy toes (Antennaria plantaginifolia), wormwood (Artemisia), ironweed (Vernonia), and burdock (Arctium). Adult Food: Flower nectar almost exclusively, including dogbane, aster, goldenrod, marigold, self-heal, common milkweed, and vetch (Lotts and Naberhaus 2017).
Phenology Comments: Not certain how far north this can overwinter, but definitely not most or all of Virginia and North Carolina. Migrants arrive end of March or April in southern New Jersey and get into southern Canada in May. They then occur as breeders all summer and fall if conditions are favorably, usually with the last observations in late November or December in New Jersey. These observations and dates are similar for much of the eastern USA. Regular observations from mid January through February would strongly indicate overwintering.
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Migratory Butterflies and Skippers

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: In most regions any place where the species breeds somewhat regularly. Minimally an observation associated with breeding habitat, but immatures in more than one year is a better criterion. Most of the species are common, and distinctive, and photographs or reliable sightings are adequate documentation. Occurrences for these species should not be thought of as having conservation value or corresponding to real populations. Nectaring areas such as gardens are not occurrences.
Mapping Guidance: In practice one can map foodplant sometimes. Often the occurrence is an old field, thicket, or other obvious feature. These are almost all highly weedy species (see discussion in Scott, 1986) and so habitats tend not to conform to natural communities as botanists define them. Given the general irrelevance of locally defined occurrences ("EOs") for conservation or ranking, pretty much any reasonable locally useful standard can be applied.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 2 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 2 km
Alternate Separation Procedure: Since EOs for these species are totally arbitrary and rather irrelevant to their conservation, one could really use any convenient method for defining them. Two kilometers seems like a convenient distance. However since decisions about separation should have few consequences, really any convenient separation distance is justified. Maximum individual movement distances for most or all of these species substantially exceed 1000 km, although some like the common buckeye sometimes form sedentary colonies for the summer.
Separation Justification: Two kilometers is reasonable when these species settle in and begin producing local transient colonies, especially when adults become somewhat sedentary for a generation or two before moving on. Any distance can also be used if this is for some reason practical, and in reality two sites 50 km apart are arguably the same metapopulation. During migrations many to all individuals of these species travel more than 1000 km. It is strongly recommended though that distances under 2 km not be used.
Date: 03Jun2004
Author: Schweitzer, Dale F.
Notes: These Specs are provided for any exceptional cases where there is a perceive need to map (generally seasonal) occurrences.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 05Oct2000
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Opler, P.A.; Schweitzer, D.F.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 18May2001

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Belth, Jeffrey E. 2013. Butterflies of Indiana A Field Guide. Indiana University Press.Bloomington, IN.

  • Bess, James. 2005. A Report on the Remnant-Dependent Insects of the Coastal Zone Natural Area Remnants in Northwest Indiana. 23 pp..

  • COVELL, C.V., JR. 1999. THE BUTTERFLIES AND MOTHS (LEPIDOPTERA) OF KENTUCKY: AN ANNOTATED CHECKLIST. KENTUCKY STATE NATURE PRESERVES COMMISSION SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL SERIES 6:1-220.

  • Gobeil, R.E., and R.M.F. Gobeil. 2014. A survey of butterflies found at a reclaimed municipal landfill superfund site in Saco, Maine (York County). News of the Lepidopterists' Society 56(4):160-165.

  • Huber, R. L. 1981. An updated checklist of Minnesota butterflies. Minnesota Entomological Association Newsletter 14(3):15-25.

  • Lotts, K., and T. Naberhaus, coordinators. 2017. Butterflies and Moths of North America. Available online: http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/ (Version December 2018).

  • Opler, P. A., and A. D. Warren. 2002. Butterflies of North America. 2. Scientific Names List for Butterfly Species of North America, north of Mexico. C.P. Gillette Museum of Arthropod Diversity, Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado. 79 pp.

  • Pelham, J. P. 2008. A catalogue of the butterflies of the United States and Canada with a complete bibliography of the descriptive and systematic literature. The Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera. Volume 40. 658 pp. Revised 14 February, 2012.

  • Shuey, John. 1995. Indiana S-Ranks for Butterflies. Memorandum to Cloyce Hedge. 10 pp.

  • Shull, Ernest M. 1987. The Butterflies of Indiana. Publ. by Indiana Acad. Science, distributed by Indiana Univ. Press, Bloomington/Indianapolis, 262 pp.

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Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
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