Ultimately, the fate of most of these migrants is that of premature death, as the winter conditions in this country are too harsh for the Painted Lady to overwinter in any part of the life cycle. Some individuals are thought to attempt the autumn migration back south, but it isn't entirely clear what proportion make this move.
Thistles, Mallows and Common Nettle make up the bulk of the larvae's foodplants, although adults will feed on any high-nectar source to fuel their continual movement. The last large influx of Painted Ladies was in 2009, when even on Bardsey I can remember counting hundreds streaming through every hour- an amazing sight. 2015 has been a good year too, with particularly high numbers feeding on the coastal thrift in June.