Very Early Vanessa Sightings: Painted Ladies Spotted in Iowa; Red Admiral in Ontario

March 17, 2016

Two Painted Ladies were spotted in Ames, Iowa on March 10, 2016 by two different observers.  These sightings occurred nearly two months before the typical first Painted Lady sighting in early May.   Another early Vanessa sighting was of a Red Admiral at Point Pelee near Leamington, Ontario on March 16, perhaps a month earlier than is typical for that area.  The strong El Niño and unusual weather patterns this winter may be partly responsible for these butterflies' early emergence and arrival.  There may be more early arrivals in other places this year, so please watch for them.  What you think at first might be an early spring Comma or other anglewing could actually turn out to be a very early Painted Lady - so check carefully!

--Royce Bitzer, March 17, 2016