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Monarch Butterfly
Danaus plexippus

I think this might be the one butterfly that the most people know something about, at least in the Americas.

Similar to birds, this butterfly is a long distance migrator. However an individual butterfly does not complete the migration – three generations later are the insects that complete the full migration there and back. They range from southern Canada to northern South America.

There is SO much more information about these lovely butterflies that I’m going to just end it here by saying that their environments are being threatened, and along with climate change, the Monarch populations are declining drastically. Many avid gardeners plant milkweed (which the larvae eat) so that they have more opportunities to lay their eggs and become more butterflies. That’s a really simplistic way to describe it.

Alternate Names: Milkweed Butterfly, Common Tiger Butterfly
Size: Wingspan 3.5"-4"
Family:  Danaidae
Habitat: "In the spring and summer, the monarch butterfly's habitat is open fields and meadows with milkweed. In winter it can be found on the coast of southern California and at high altitudes in central Mexico." From nhptv.org
Identification: Reddish-orange background on wings, with black lines and white spots within the black borders. Black body.
All text and photos copyright © 2022 Middle Way Nature Reserve, unless noted.
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