26 December 2013

Painted Lady Butterfly – Dhahran Hills

The first Painted Lady butterflies of the year  started to appear in late November possibly as a result of the very heavy rains. Additonal butterflies have been seen through to now suggesting it may be a good year for them again. They were mainly in the spray fields but also along the edge of the dry percolation pond. Although the Painted Lady can survive in Saudi Arabia in most years the majority of butterflies are probably migrants. The Painted Lady is the most widely distributed butterfly in the world occurring on all continents except Antarctica. It is a large butterfly with a buffy-orange background colour to the upper-wings. The forewings have black tips marked with white spots and the hind-wings have rows of brown or black circular spots. The underside of the wing is pale buff brown than the upper-wing. Newly emerged butterflies are brighter coloured, with the colouring becoming muted with age.