Danaus plexippus

Monarch Butterfly

Herbivore: Eats nectar, milkweed

Geography: Breeding grounds in northern United States and Canada, migrate to central mexico

Habitat: MIlkweed meadows

Interesting facts:

  • One of the most identifiable studied butterflies due to their orange and black coloring
  • Millions of monarchs migrate to Mexico each year during the winter where temperatures are warmer
  • They are poisonous to predators due to the milkweed they consume and store in their bodies
  • They have a specific gene that gives them strong muscles to maintain long-distance flights
  • The major reason why they are endangered species lies with the disappearance of milkweed
  • Monarchs will only lay their eggs on milkweed plants which has contributed to a decline in reproduction
  • They have a proboscis which is a small tube that helps them eat nectar. It coils up when not in use
  • They have 6 legs in total but the first 2 are tucked under the body
An orange butterfly with black markings perched on a cluster of orange cosmos flowers. The butterfly has its wings spread out, revealing intricate patterns of black veins and spots. The background shows other flowers and green foliage.