Animalia > Arthropoda > Insecta > Lepidoptera > Papilionoidea > Nymphalidae > Danaus > Danaus plexippus

Danaus plexippus (Monarch Butterfly)

Synonyms: Euploea curassavicae; Papilio misippiformis

Wikipedia Abstract

The monarch butterfly or simply monarch (Danaus plexippus) is a milkweed butterfly (subfamily Danainae) in the family Nymphalidae. Other common names depending on region include Milkweed, Common Tiger, Wanderer, and Black Veined Brown. It may be the most familiar North American butterfly, and is considered an iconic pollinator species.
View Wikipedia Record: Danaus plexippus



Litter Size [1]  663
Migration [2]  Intercontinental
Wing Span [3]  3.5 inches (.09 m)

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Badlands National Park II 178535 South Dakota, United States
Calamocarro-Benzú 1487 Spain  
Calvin College Ecosystem Preserve 90 Michigan, United States
Carlsbad Caverns National Park II 15448 New Mexico, United States
Fenland 1529 England, United Kingdom
Morecambe Bay 151985 England, United Kingdom
Pen Llyn a`r Sarnau/ Lleyn Peninsula and the Sarnau 360832 Wales, United Kingdom
Western Michigan University's Asylum Lake Preserve 274 Michigan, United States

Emblem of

North Carolina
West Virginia

Prey / Diet

Apocynum androsaemifolium (flytrap dogbane)[4]
Araujia sericifera (moth plant)[4]
Asclepias amplexicaulis (clasping milkweed)[4]
Asclepias asperula (antelope horns)[4]
Asclepias californica (California milkweed)[4]
Asclepias cordifolia (heartleaf milkweed)[4]
Asclepias curassavica (bloodflower)[4]
Asclepias curtissii (Curtiss' milkweed)[4]
Asclepias syriaca (broadleaf milkweed)[5]
Calotropis gigantea (giant milkweed)[5]
Gomphocarpus cancellatus[6]
Gomphocarpus fruticosus (Arizona milkweed)[7]
Gomphocarpus physocarpus (balloonplant)[5]
Leptadenia reticulata (butterflyweed)[5]
Oxypetalum caeruleum <Unverified Name>[7]
Schinus molle (false pepper)[7]

Prey / Diet Overlap

Competing SpeciesCommon Prey Count
Amphipyra tragopoginis (mouse)1
Apis mellifera (honey bee)1
Archilochus colubris (Ruby-throated Hummingbird)1
Arocatus rusticus2
Battus philenor (pipevine swallowtail)1
Colias philodice (clouded sulphur)1
Danaus chrysippus (Plain Tiger)5
Nymphalis antiopa (camberwell beauty)1
Papilio glaucus (Eastern tiger swallowtail)1
Papilio polyxenes (Eastern black swallowtail)1
Sphecius speciosus (cicada killer)1
Xylotoles griseus1


Icterus abeillei (Black-backed Oriole)[8]
Peromyscus melanotis (black-eared mouse)[9]
Pheucticus melanocephalus (Black-headed Grosbeak)[8]

Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Institution Infraspecies / Breed 
Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo
Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo
Zoo de Santillana y Parque Cuaternario


New Zealand (Alien); Western Michigan University’s Asylum Lake;



Attributes / relations provided by 1Body size, egg size, and their interspecific relationships with ecological and life history traits in butterflies (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea, Hesperioidea), Enrique García-Barros, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society (2000), 70: 251–284 2Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at 3BUTTERFLIES OF AUCKLAND, D.R. Cowley and J.M. Cowley, TANE 29, 1983, pp. 181-192 4HOSTS - a Database of the World's Lepidopteran Hostplants Gaden S. Robinson, Phillip R. Ackery, Ian J. Kitching, George W. Beccaloni AND Luis M. Hernández 5Biological Records Centre Database of Insects and their Food Plants 6Species Interactions of Australia Database, Atlas of Living Australia, Version ala-csv-2012-11-19 7New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Plant-SyNZ™ database 8"Antipredator Adaptations by Monarch Butterflies", Kim A. Pike 9Peromyscus melanotis, Sergio Ticul Alvarez-Castaneda, MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 764, pp. 1–4 (2005)
Protected Areas provided by Badlands National Park Natura 2000, UK data: © Crown copyright and database right [2010] All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100017955 Calvin College Ecosystem Preserve Carlsbad Caverns National Park GBIF Global Biodiversity Information Facility Western Michigan University’s Asylum Lake
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Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access