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Monarch 
Latin Name: Danaus plexippus
 
Genus: Danaus    Species: plexippus 
Family
Latin Name: Nymphalidae
Common Name: Brush-Foots
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Family Members
 
SubFamily
Latin Name: Danainae
Common Name: Milkweed Butterflies
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SubFamily Members

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Comments:
The Monarch is undoubtedly the most familiar and widely recognized butterfly in North America. The species' annual fall mass migration is one of the greatest natural events undertaken by any organism on earth. Adults have a strong, soaring flight and it is an abundant garden visitor. The striped larvae feed on plants in the Milkweed family from which they sequester toxic chemicals that render them highly distasteful to certain predators. The adult butterflies advertise this unpalatability in dramatic fashion with their bold orange and black coloration.
   
Life Cycle:
Broods:
multiple generations
Egg:
white, laid singly on host leaves
Larva:
white with transverse black and yellow stripes; there is a pair of long, black filaments on each end
Host Plants:
various milkweed family plants including Mexican Milkweed, White Swamp Milkweed, Sandhill Milkweed and White Vine
   
Host Plants:
Host Plants:
various milkweed family plants including Mexican Milkweed, White Swamp Milkweed, Sandhill Milkweed and White Vine
   
Habitat:
Habitat:
open, sunny locations including old fields, roadsides, pinelands, utility easements, sandhills, fallow agricultural land and gardens
   
     
     
   
Wingspan:
Inches:
3.5 - 4
Centimeters:
8.9 - 10.2
   
Appearance:
Sexes:
similar; female lacks black scent patch
Compare:
Queen is smaller, tawny-orange in color and lacks black wing veins above. Gulf Fritillary has elongated wings and prominent silver ventral spots.
   
     
     
Markings:
 

Above:

  • orange with black veins and wing borders; black borders have two rows of small white spots; male has small black postmedian androconial scent patch on hindwing  
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Below:

  • as above with lighter orange coloration  
 
Florida Distribution:
Abundance:
occasional to common
   

 

     

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Map Legend: Resident (green) | Stray (Red)


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