I'm not sure if it was male or female. It is said that the only way to determine between the male and female Painted Lady, is that the female has a larger abdomen. I have only ever seen three Painted Ladies in my life, so I currently do not have enough experience to know which is which.
"Painted Lady vanessa kershawi is a regular visitor to New Zealand, from Australia, sometimes occurring in sizable numbers from October till early December. They do breed here and produce a summer generation from January, but have never established fully because they can not survive our winters. It is understood that ovum are laid in February and larvae emerge, but at some point the larvae or even the odd pupae succumb to frost.
Some years there are large influxes and they become a common Butterfly in these years. This usually occurs when there is a large southwards migration in Australia, which is suspected to be triggered by rains in the outback. This is different from the 'Painted Lady' (vanessa cardui) found in Europe and the 'American Painted Lady' (vanessa virginiensis) found in North America.
Males are territorial and will chase off other males (and sometimes other butterflies) who come too close."
REF: NZ Butterfly Info
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