The painted lady is a long-distance migrant. Each year, it spreads northwards from the desert fringes of North Africa, the Middle East, and central Asia, recolonising mainland Europe and reaching Britain and Ireland. In some years it is very abundant, but generally there are only a few records each year in the Outer Hebrides.
A large butterfly with a distinctive and strong flight. The bright orange which contrasts with the black and white pattern on the wing tips tends to fade rapidly.