Attributes of Danaus plexippus

Monarch
Danaus plexippus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Family: Nymphalidae
Subfamily: Danainae
Identification: Upperside of male is bright orange with wide black borders and black veins; hindwing has a patch of scent scales. Upperside of female is orange-brown with wide black borders and blurred black veins. Both sexes have white spots on borders and apex. The Viceroy butterfly (Limenitis archippus) is a Mullerian mimic; it has similar coloration and is also distasteful.
Wing Span: 3 3/8 - 4 7/8 inches (8.6 - 12.4 cm).
Life History: Adults warm up by basking dorsally (with their wings open and toward the sun). Females lay eggs singly under the host leaves; caterpillars eat leaves and flowers. Adults make massive migrations from August-October, flying thousands of miles south to hibernate along the California coast and in central Mexico. A few overwinter along the Gulf coast or south Atlantic coast. Along the way, Monarchs stop to feed on flower nectar and to roost together at night. At the Mexico wintering sites, butterflies roost in trees and form huge aggregations that may have millions of individuals. During the winter the butterflies may take moisture and flower nectar during warm days. Most have mated before they leave for the north in the spring, and females lay eggs along the way. Residents of tropical areas do not migrate but appear to make altitude changes during the dry season.
Flight: In North America during spring and summer there may be 1-3 broods in the north and 4-6 broods in the south. May breed all year in Florida, South Texas, and southeastern California.
Caterpillar Hosts: Milkweeds including common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), swamp milkweed (A. incarnata), and showy milkweed (A. speciosa); and milkweed vine in the tropics. Most milkweeds contain cardiac glycosides which are stored in the bodies of both the caterpillar and adult. These poisons are distasteful and emetic to birds and other vertebrate predators. After tasting a Monarch, a predator might associate the bright warning colors of the adult or caterpillar with an unpleasant meal, and avoid Monarchs in the future.
Adult Food: 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.
Habitat: Many open habitats including fields, meadows, weedy areas, marshes, and roadsides.
Range: Southern Canada south through all of the United States, Central America, and most of South America. Also present in Australia, Hawaii, and other Pacific Islands.
Conservation: Overwintering sites in California and Mexico should be protected and conserved.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: Develop conservation and management plans for all wintering sites, migration corridors, and principal breeding areas.
Taxonomy Notes:

Images of Danaus plexippus

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Danaus plexippus - Danaus_plexippusKsGrantSept24-08CarolAdams-crop.jpg

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Danaus plexippus - Danaus_plexippus4.jpg
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Danaus plexippus - Danaus_plexippus6.jpg






The map below displays all BAMONA data for this species and has three different data layers:
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Observation Date Submitter Region Verified Datesort icon
July 24, 2016 dendroica5 Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States July 27, 2016 Details
July 26, 2016 monikawood Tioga County, Pennsylvania, United States July 27, 2016 Details
July 02, 2016 ncrosbyrd Mono County, California, United States July 26, 2016 Details
May 30, 2016 N Weasel Santa Clara County, California, United States July 26, 2016 Details
June 15, 2016 N Weasel Santa Clara County, California, United States July 26, 2016 Details
July 24, 2016 digginflowers Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, United States July 25, 2016 Details
July 23, 2016 Mluna25 Queens County, New York, United States July 23, 2016 Details
July 21, 2016 hmclin York County, Pennsylvania, United States July 22, 2016 Details
July 21, 2016 johngor Ontario, Canada July 21, 2016 Details
July 19, 2016 digginflowers Adams County, Pennsylvania, United States July 21, 2016 Details
July 07, 2016 Mary Franceline Malone Bucks County, Pennsylvania, United States July 20, 2016 Details
April 30, 2016 Sherbutter Lee County, Florida, United States July 19, 2016 Details
July 17, 2016 breck7348 Sacramento County, California, United States July 19, 2016 Details
July 06, 2016 Kzfisherman McHenry County, Illinois, United States July 19, 2016 Details
July 19, 2016 monikawood Steuben County, New York, United States July 19, 2016 Details
July 13, 2016 dlkriensky Nassau County, New York, United States July 19, 2016 Details
July 10, 2016 RichHubie Mendocino County, California, United States July 12, 2016 Details
July 09, 2016 Chris Carvalho Washington County, Oregon, United States July 11, 2016 Details
July 09, 2016 Mluna25 Queens County, New York, United States July 09, 2016 Details
July 02, 2016 johngor Ontario, Canada July 09, 2016 Details
July 04, 2016 Tindomul1of9 Bronx County, New York, United States July 07, 2016 Details
July 04, 2016 jvkopple2 Kalkaska County, Michigan, United States July 06, 2016 Details
July 02, 2016 Doug Bruce Gibson County, Tennessee, United States July 03, 2016 Details
June 30, 2016 4oclockwatch Jackson County, Oregon, United States July 02, 2016 Details
June 28, 2016 Chris Carvalho Washington County, Oregon, United States June 30, 2016 Details
June 07, 2016 Snyder@rcrcd.org Riverside County, California, United States June 25, 2016 Details
June 13, 2016 CA Ivy Sebastian County, Arkansas, United States June 18, 2016 Details
June 12, 2016 stomlins701 Cocke County, Tennessee, United States June 16, 2016 Details
May 25, 2016 Sue Orlowski Botetourt County, Virginia, United States June 12, 2016 Details
June 05, 2016 sandileap Santa Cruz County, California, United States June 09, 2016 Details
June 08, 2016 4oclockwatch Jackson County, Oregon, United States June 09, 2016 Details
June 06, 2016 Chet Gottfried Centre County, Pennsylvania, United States June 07, 2016 Details
June 02, 2016 CA Ivy Sebastian County, Arkansas, United States June 07, 2016 Details
May 28, 2016 randimal Malheur County, Oregon, United States June 03, 2016 Details
May 15, 2016 John LeBlanc Pasco County, Florida, United States May 31, 2016 Details
May 16, 2016 saorsa941@gmail.com Charlotte County, Florida, United States May 26, 2016 Details
May 08, 2016 Lepidopteron Alameda County, California, United States May 23, 2016 Details
May 19, 2016 digginflowers Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States May 21, 2016 Details
May 05, 2016 mellielong Hillsborough County, Florida, United States May 07, 2016 Details
March 13, 2016 SaunieInDiego San Diego County, California, United States April 17, 2016 Details
April 12, 2016 CA Ivy Sebastian County, Arkansas, United States April 12, 2016 Details
August 11, 2015 routledge_SaultCollege Ontario, Canada April 10, 2016 Details
April 06, 2016 mellielong Hillsborough County, Florida, United States April 08, 2016 Details
September 12, 2015 John Wilson Socorro County, New Mexico, United States April 01, 2016 Details
March 29, 2016 PONYRCR Los Angeles County, California, United States March 30, 2016 Details
March 26, 2016 dlkriensky Palm Beach County, Florida, United States March 29, 2016 Details
March 13, 2016 PONYRCR Los Angeles County, California, United States March 22, 2016 Details
March 16, 2016 mhutain Orange County, California, United States March 17, 2016 Details
October 08, 2015 tom nolan Burlington County, New Jersey, United States February 29, 2016 Details
June 02, 2015 billwx Garfield County, Oklahoma, United States February 28, 2016 Details