Danaus plexippus (Monarch Butterfly)

  • Scientific Name: Danaus plexippus
  • Location (U.S.): Hudson Bay-South America, Hawaii, very popular in U.S., Canary Islands, Azores, & Madeira
  • Location (Ossabaw): Branches & flowers
  • Habitat: Spring & Summer, come in fields & meadows
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Lepidoptera
  • Family: Nymphalidae
  • Ecological Role: Helps pollination
  • Description: Grayish white in all areas of the wings are known to turn orange; Males are larger than females with thicker black veins around the wings
  • How animal gathers food: Drinks nectar using tube from mouth to blooming flowers
  • Animal Eats: larvae stage-milkweed; adult stage-nectar
  • Predators that prey on this animal: None
  • Reproduction: Mate while airborn; the fertile female lays eggs on milkweed plants and they hatch in 3-15 days; 2 weeks later the monarch is at adult stage.
  • Human's effect on animal: Pesticides kill Monarch species
  • Animal's effect on humans: Research & observation
  • Fun fact: Monarchs are the most colorful of all butterflies. Monarchs need milkweed to live. Monarchs go through 4 generations each year. Monarchs migrate up to 2,500 miles to get out of cold weather & hibernate.