For Door County residents who love their butterflies there is still one of the orange and black migrating variety flitting from yard to yard in October. The painted lady butterfly is not as celebrated as monarchs are but it provides a similar splash of color to local gardens. Naturalist Karen Newbern says painted ladies do migrate but it is not widely understood.
Painted ladies are known as irruptive migrants because the pattern is not seasonal or geographic in nature. There is some speculation that the migration pattern is tied to the El Nino phenomenon which occurs every four years in the Pacific Ocean.