Monarch

Danaus plexippus
Milkweed Butterflies

Appearance: Above, male is a bright orange; female a brownish orange. Both have prominent black veining, thicker on the female, giving them a ‘stained glass’ look. Both have two rows of fine white dots on the wing margins. Below, the hindwings are tan with prominent black veins and marginal white spots.

Size: Large; 3 3/8 to 4 7/8 inches

Habitat: Open fields, prairies, meadows, marshes, and roadsides

Season: Colonizes northward as milkweed emerges; multiple broods

Larval Foodplant: Milkweeds

Did You Know…
Several generations of this species colonize northward from Mexico each year. In the fall the last brood of the year migrates back to the same spot in Mexico that “ancestors” left in spring (Brock, 2003).

Species Gallery (click to enlarge)