Butterfly Article

Danaus plexippus


Scientific Name: Danaus plexippus
Common Name: Monarch
Native Location: North America and Mexico
Host Plant: milkweeds, Asclepias sp.
Description: Monarchs are one of the best known of our native species. Even while a caterpillar, this insect holds our attention. The larva is voracious and quick to grow. They feed on milkweed plants and store the plant toxins for their own defense. It becomes a graceful, green and gold chrysalis, from which emerges the familiar black and orange butterfly. The monarch has evolved to advertise its distastefulness, both as larvae and adults, with striking coloration. The same colors which make the butterfly memorable for us, make them easy to remember for those unlucky predators which end up with a mouthful of monarch.

<i>Danaus plexippus</i>