This butterfly is the American painted lady, Vanessa virginiensis (Drury, 1773) (Nymphalidae), which is native to North America but now nearly worldwide in distribution. Most of the dispersal is believed to be recent and aided by human travel, but this species-like many other Vanessa species--is migratory, so it’s possible that some of its movement was natural. It’s distantly related to the Kamehameha butterfly (Vanessa tameamea Eschscholtz, 1821) (same genus but different subgenus, the admiral butterflies). The admirals, including Kamehameha, are bright red in life, not orange-red like the painted ladies. (Info thanks to Frank Howarth, Entomology, Bishop Museum; April 2009)Copyright © 2009 by Philip A. Thomas. Contact email@example.com for permission to use.