|Order: Lepidoptera (le-pid-OP-ter-a) (Info)|
Family: Nymphalidae (nim-FAL-ih-dee) (Info)
Genus: Danaus (DAN-ay-us) (Info)
This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:
Oro Valley, Arizona
Queen Creek, Arizona
North Little Rock, Arkansas
Pacific Grove, California (2 reports)
Pismo Beach, California
San Diego, California
San Simeon, California
Altamonte Springs, Florida
Atlantic Beach, Florida
Belleair Bluffs, Florida
Boca Raton, Florida
Cape Coral, Florida
Chambers Estates, Florida
Citrus Park, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida (2 reports)
New Port Richey, Florida
Palm Coast, Florida
Pembroke Pines, Florida
Saint Cloud, Florida
Spring Hill, Florida
Timber Pines, Florida
Kailua Kona, Hawaii
Davis Junction, Illinois
La Grange Park, Illinois
Rock Falls, Illinois
Cedar Falls, Iowa
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
New Orleans, Louisiana
North Vacherie, Louisiana
South China, Maine
Loch Lynn Heights, Maryland
Bark River, Michigan
Central Lake, Michigan
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
St Cloud, Minnesota
St Paul, Minnesota
Lincoln, Nebraska (2 reports)
Hudson, New Hampshire
Marlton, New Jersey
Roswell, New Mexico
Claverack, New York
Crown Heights, New York
Henrietta, New York
Himrod, New York
Rego Park, New York
West Babylon, New York
Cary, North Carolina
Concord, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Red Oak, North Carolina
Belfield, North Dakota
Grand Forks, North Dakota
Bowling Green, Ohio
Gold Hill, Oregon
Pennsbury Village, Pennsylvania
North Augusta, South Carolina
Deer Park, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Houston, Texas (2 reports)
Missouri City, Texas
Reid Hope King, Texas
Roman Forest, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)
Spring, Texas (2 reports)
Virginia Beach, Virginia
West Allis, Wisconsin
|Positive ||okus ||On Jul 24, 2006, okus from
(Zone 8b) wrote:
Above bright burnt-orange with black veins and black margins sprinkled with white dots. Below paler duskier orange.
The similar Viceroy is smaller with shorter wings. The Queen and Tropic Queen are browner and smaller.
|Neutral ||Joan ||On Jul 31, 2006, Joan from Belfield, ND
(Zone 4a) wrote:
The monarch butterfly is sometimes called the milkweed butterfly because its larvae eat the plant. In fact, milkweed is the only thing the larvae can eat!
Adult female monarchs lay their eggs on the underside of milkweed leaves. These eggs hatch, depending on temperature, in three to twelve days.
The larvae feed on the plant leaves for about two weeks and develop into caterpillars about 2 inches long.
After awhile, the caterpillars attach themselves head down to a convenient twig, they shed their outer skin and begin the transformation into a pupa (or chrysalis), a process which is completed in a matter of hours.
The pupa resembles a waxy, jade vase and becomes increasingly transparent as the process progresses. The caterpillar completes the miraculous transformation into a beautiful adult butterfly in about two weeks.
The butterfly finally emerges from the now transparent chrysalis.
It inflates its wings with a pool of blood it has stored in its abdomen. When this is done, the monarch expels any excess fluid and rests.
The butterfly waits until its wings stiffen and dry before it flies away to start the cycle of life all over again.
Most predators have learned that the monarch butterfly makes a poisonous snack. The toxins from the monarch's milkweed diet have given the butterfly this defense. In either the caterpillar or butterfly stage the monarch needs no camouflage because it takes in toxins from the milkweed and is poisonous to predators. Many animals advertise their poisonous nature with bright colors... just like the monarch!
|Positive ||plantladyhou ||On Sep 12, 2006, plantladyhou from Katy, TX
(Zone 8b) wrote:
I raise Butterfly weed just for the Monarchs and their caterpillers. The plants are unobtrusive but the butterflies are a joy. Their offspring aren't hurting anything and I will not allow them to be killed. The butterfly weed quickly grows back and the cycle is repeated.
|Positive ||Sheila965 ||On Oct 23, 2006, Sheila965 from Rincon, GA
(Zone 8a) wrote:
I've got one Monarch that visits my butterfly bushes daily. She seems to love the light purple ones!
|Positive ||Marilynbeth ||On Nov 22, 2006, Marilynbeth from Hebron, KY wrote:
I'm always thrilled to see a Monarch Butterfly and its Cats. Beautiful!
|Positive ||blossombloom ||On Dec 2, 2006, blossombloom from Griffin, GA wrote:
The Monarchs I've seen around here are huge. Is this the same or a different kind? I adore all butterflies. Over the summer we half screened our porch, (not on purpose mind you) and you should have seen all the butterflies that I had to rescue and let them fly away out of the palm of my hand. I was very careful because their wings are very fragile and will tear if touched. I am happy to say that there was no injuries in the process of the mission.
|Positive ||mamapajama ||On Apr 20, 2007, mamapajama from Poughkeepsie, NY wrote:
These butterflies are lovely ! My son and I raised some from caterpilars last summer, we can't wait to do this again. Thinking of tagging the released butterflies to track them Please leave any milkweed plants in your garden -only plant the cats will eat. Interesting fact -you can tell a male Monarch from a female by the presence of 2 black dots on the wings.
|Positive ||Malus2006 ||On Feb 13, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN
(Zone 4a) wrote:
Tend to pop up here about July in Minnesota and hang around until the first frost. Never interested in the Swamp Milkweed that I have growing in my yard.
Here's some interesting facts - In the 1840s they were found in Hawaii, then 1850s through 1860s they were found on most South Pacific Islands, then in the early 1870s they were found on Australia and New Zealand. Interesting to know - they most likely were aided by humans - also milkweed have been spreading throughout Australia and New Zealand from North America. Recently they have been found in the Canary Islands and West Europe.
Host Plants of the Monarch Butterfly
Northern Portion of Range - Eastern United States.
(I'm trying to find information on host plants in Western North America - one source said of 100s of N A Milweed species, 1/4 are known host plants - will be nice to know what other milkweed species that monarch butterflies feed on - to make them more popular in the plant trade - there is strict regulations on Common Milkweed in some regions - noxious in rural areas)
Asclepias syrica Common Milkweed is the most important host in the Northern Portion. Others are A. incarnata, Swamp Milkweed, A. tiberosa Butterfly Weed. I will try to include more less common milkweed in future references.
Of notice: Swallowwort, Vincetoxicum (recently changed from Cynanchum) of which two species are invasive in N. America fools monarch butterflies into laying eggs on them but lacks chemical defenses for them. Swallowwort are found in New England and most of the Great Lakes, some native species in the Great Plains are used as larval hosts - impacts are unknown.
South Portion of East United States through part of North -East Mexico - Most important is A. oenothroides Zizotes Milkweed, A. vividis Spider Milkweed, and A. asperuloa Antelope Horn Milkweed. Also Asclepias curassavica, Tropical Milkweed, a tropical native to S. America is often used for host plants and to attract monarch butterflies by southern gardeners.
There is also a subspecies in West Central South America. There is very little information on Monarch butterflies that live in Central America and 1/2 of South America.
|Positive ||aggscott ||On Apr 23, 2008, aggscott from Wilkes Barre, PA
(Zone 6a) wrote:
What a great butterfly these are! My favorite! I released over 200 healthy Monarchs last year and tagged over 50 of them.
Help the Monarchs and plant Milkweed
|Positive ||twopuppies ||On May 12, 2008, twopuppies from Chester, IL wrote:
Seems early, I have no milkweed but had a female monarch the last three days in April- a well worn female feeding on henbit flowers- ws still there(or another one) first couple days of may!
|Positive ||rampbrat ||On Aug 3, 2008, rampbrat from Abilene, TX
(Zone 7b) wrote:
We're on their migration route (through West Central TX) in the fall. When my sons were young and played soccer, I was often distracted from the games by the 100' s of monarchs in the air. I try to keep fall flowers in the yard, like mums,coreopsis, and asters just for the monarchs.
|Positive ||SusanLouise ||On Jan 28, 2009, SusanLouise from Lincoln, NE
(Zone 5b) wrote:
I watched the fall migration of the Monarch on Sept 24th 2008...I counted 131 Monarchs fly over our house....I was in complete awe! :)
|Positive ||LouC ||On Jul 17, 2009, LouC from Desoto, TX
(Zone 8a) wrote:
Some time ago, Oct. 2005, I witnessed a miracle. Standing in my backyard near dusk I noticed something falling from the sky (?) like leaves. Stood very still and watched as literally thousands of Monarchs decended and covered everything in my yard and my neighbors yard. Began to call for others to come look and be very respectful as we were standing on Holy Ground. This was before I had any kind of flower or host plants. They were just resting as they traveled to Marioposa, Mexico. Too much to expect it to ever happen again.
|Positive ||napolemj ||On Dec 16, 2009, napolemj from Winter Garden, FM
(Zone 9b) wrote:
I'm a bit confused. I have been raising 6 Monarch larvae since early December (they are now in their pupa stage), and I am positive these are Monarchs and not Queens. I had always read that Monarchs leave Central Florida for the Mexican fir forests by winter. Why are there still Monarchs here?
|Positive ||themikesmom ||On Oct 2, 2011, themikesmom from Concord, NC wrote:
I had never seen any Monarchs or Viceroys in this area of the Southeastern United States, in Central NC until today, when we saw a beautiful huge monarch all by himself and he looked totally exhausted and on the verge of dying, he certainly didnt look like he would have enough energy to fly all the way down to the rainforests of Mexico, which is where I understand they migrate too; for the cold winter months here in the States . Again it was really nice to see one, as up until now, had only seen Monarchs in the NE US, and had only seen yellow or blue Eastern Swallowtail butterflys and Red Spotted Purples here in NC. it was a great sight to behold, although depressing, as it looked like it was tired, and on its way out. Sandra.
|Positive ||tlm1 ||On Aug 3, 2012, tlm1 from Jacksonville, FL
(Zone 9a) wrote:
I so miss having these in my garden! All of my Milkweeds have gone due to changes in the gardens, and they have certainly been the "GO TO" for the Monarchs…They will be one of the first additions back into the new bed!
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