Everyone seems to be noticing these beauties this year. This year is a big one for painted lady butterfly populations in MN. These butterflies, often called thistle caterpillars in their larval form, are preparing to migrate to the southern US / Mexico soon. The adult butterflies are feeding on nectar from native goldenrod and sunflowers, and even on garden plants like autumn joy sedum. The caterpillars feed on host plants of thistle, hollyhock, soybean, and more.