Monarch Butterfly Facts and Information

Danaus plexippus 

Introduction to Monarch Butterfly

 One of the most graceful and beautiful of all living creatures is the Monarch Butterfly. It is certainly a creature that both young and old seem to be fascinated with when they see one fluttering around. This is also believed to be the most commonly known and recognized species of butterflies in the world.

Monarch Butterfly Description

 The bright orange patterns of colors combined with black is the telling signs of a Monarch Butterfly. The tips of the wings are black with white areas that can be in a variety of patterns. Their wings can easily be up to 4 inches long.

Class Insecta
Order Lepidoptera
Family Nymphalidae
Tribe Danaini
Genus Danaus
Conservation status Near Threatened

Monarch Butterfly Distribution

The natural habitat of the Monarch Butterfly includes New Guinea, Australia, the Canary Islands, South America  and throughout most of North and Central America.  They do migrate during the summer months into areas of Canada and Mexico. They have been found in strange locations from time to time.

However, it is believed that occurs from the Monarch Butterfly ending up on ships and then getting of them in unknown territories. They are able to live in a variety of conditions. This includes the mountains, prairies, conifer groves, urban environments, and even in parks.

Monarch Butterfly Behavior

 The migration for the Monarch Butterfly is very lengthy. It can last from late August until early spring of the following year. These butterflies are very colorful so they stand out from the environment rather than blending into it. A line of defense they have is that they don’t taste good to predators. They are able to secrete a certain substances that makes them undesirable as a food source.

The use of tracking devices for some of them has been very useful. It enables researchers to be able to find out more about the movements and life spans of the Monarch Butterfly. The trackers can be placed on their wings without any harm to them and so it continues to be a common practice. If you see one with a sticker on it then it is being tracked.

Monarch Butterfly Facts

Monarch Butterfly – Danaus plexippus

Monarch Butterfly Feeding

 The Monarch Butterfly is able to survive by taking nectar from various types of plants. What they will feed from can vary depending on location. There are also types of plants and flowers that they can only feed from during specific seasons of the year.

Monarch Butterfly Reproduction

 Mating takes place for the Monarch Butterfly right before they head out for their migrational routes. The males will fly around the female to display colors to her. The female will respond by releasing pheromones. The eggs of the females are deposited somewhere along their migrational route.

She won’t stay with them but the eggs won’t be alone for long. They emerge in about 4 days. They are a type of larvae and from that a caterpillar will emerge. They will eat the casings from their eggs for their first meal. They will consume milkweed that allows them to store both fat and energy.

The pupa stage is next and the caterpillar will create a silky cocoon. It hangs upside down in it to molt. A green colored exoskeleton starts to be visible there. That is the sign that soon a lovely Monarch Butterfly is going to emerge from that cocoon.

Monarch Butterfly Information

Monarch Butterfly Facts and Information

Monarch Butterfly Conservation

 There are some mild conservation efforts in place to help get the numbers back up for the Monarch Butterfly. The loss of habitat is their biggest threat. However, they are able to thrive in various locations. Some experts believe that climate change accounts for lower numbers due to it upsetting their natural migration patterns. That is also when mating occurs so it can mean that fewer mature Monarch Butterflies are mating each season.


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