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Monarch butterfly

A species of Monarchs, Also known as Milkweed butterfly, Wanderer, King billy butterfly, American monarch, Milkweed
Scientific name : Danaus plexippus Genus : Monarchs

Monarch butterfly, A species of Monarchs
Also known as:
Milkweed butterfly, Wanderer, King billy butterfly, American monarch, Milkweed
Botanical name: Danaus plexippus
Genus: Monarchs
Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) Photo By emilyxq , used under CC-BY-4.0 /Cropped and compressed from original

Description

The monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is the most recognizable butterfly in North America. It is best known for its appearance, but should be better known for the fact that it has a 3000-mile migration that takes the butterfly 4 generations to complete. Their diet is also a natural deterrent for predators, as they eat milkweed, a poison that induces vomiting.
Colors
Black
White
Orange
Habitat
field; meadow; weedy area; marsh; roadside
Adult Food Sources
Nectar from all milkweeds. Early in the season before milkweeds bloom, Monarchs visit a variety of flowers including dogbane, lilac, red clover, lantana, and thistles. In the fall adults visit composites including goldenrods, blazing stars, ironweed, and tickseed sunflower.
Larva Food Source
Caterpillar feeds on milkweed foliage.
Biting/stinging
Not reported
Allergy-causing
Not reported
Venomous
Yes
The Monarch butterfly can cause toxic reactions with a wide range of severity. However, the toxins are typically targeted at their prey and predators. They are usually not fatal to humans.
Phytophagous
Yes
The Monarch butterfly feeds on plants and usually does not cause a major problem. However, If you observe the number getting larger, you need to take it seriously.

People often ask

Are Monarch butterfly harmful?

The monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is the most recognizable butterfly in North America. It is best known for its appearance, but should be better known for the fact that it has a 3000-mile migration that takes the butterfly 4 generations to complete. Their diet is also a natural deterrent for predators, as they eat milkweed, a poison that induces vomiting.

Harmful to human

Harmful to human

Some larvae of tortoiseshell butterflies feed on milkweed, which is a poisonous plant containing cardiac glycosides, so the larvae are poisonous. Although poisonous, these butterflies will not directly affect humans if not swallowed. Touching the larvae of certain tortoiseshell butterflies may cause a rash.

General Info

Interesting Story

The name "monarch" is believed to be given in honor of King William III of England, whose secondary title Prince of Orange makes a reference to the butterfly's main color.

Species Status

It is found in north and South America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. It appears in the UK in some years as an accidental migrant.

Distribution Area

Americas, Australia

Appearance

The upper side of the male is bright orange with wide black borders and black veins. The upper side of the female is orange-brown with broad black borders and fuzzy black veins. Both sexes have white spots on the border and apex.

AdultSize

Wingspan 9 - 10 cm

How to identify it?

Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) Photo By emilyxq , used under CC-BY-4.0 /Cropped and compressed from original
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