Monarch (Danaus plexippus)

The most famous butterfly in North America, the Monarch migrates into NC each spring, lays eggs on milkweeds (Asclepias spp.), completes its life cycle, and the new generation migrates back south in the fall. Monarchs generally first appear in April and may be seen as late as Nov or December, especially along the coast. A few may be found overwintering along the immediate southern NC coast, although this is not their normal habit of the population.

Monarch (Danaus plexippus) Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
St. Clair Co., MI
7 July 2012
Monarch (Danaus plexippus) Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
St. Clair Co., MI
7 July 2012
Monarch (Danaus plexippus) Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
St. Clair Co., MI
7 July 2012

Monarch (Danaus plexippus) Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
Chatham Co., NC
24 Sep 2005
Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
same individual

Monarch (Danaus plexippus) Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
New Hanover Co., NC
27 Aug 2005
Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
Durham Co., NC
20 Aug 2005

Monarch (Danaus plexippus) Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
Duke Gardens, Durham, NC
17 Aug 2014
Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
Duke Gardens, Durham, NC
17 Aug 2014

Monarch (Danaus plexippus)

Monarchs look superficially similar to Viceroys, but the latter species has an extra black stripe going through the middle of the wings. Note also that Monarchs are larger, and they glide with their wings in a dihedral, or "V" shape, while Viceroys glide on flat wings (held straight out from the body on the same plane).

Washington Co., NC
21 June 2003

Monarch (Danaus plexippus) Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
Craven Co., NC
26 Aug 2007

Nectaring on Blazing Star, Liatris sp.


Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
Mt. Baldy, Missoula Co., MT
2 Aug 2014
Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
Jordanelle Wetlands, UT
14 July 2014

Monarch caterpillar (Danaus plexippus) Monarch (Danaus plexippus) caterpillar
Dutchess Co., NY
4 Aug 2008

Monarch caterpillar (Danaus plexippus) Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
Chatham Co., NC
24 Sep 2005
Monarch caterpillar (Danaus plexippus) Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
same individual
Monarch caterpillar (Danaus plexippus) Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
On Asclepias curassavica
St. Petersburg, FL
27 Dec 2006
Monarch chrysalis (Danaus plexippus) Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
Buncombe Co., NC
8 July 2006

Looks like this chrysalis fell victim to predation

Monarch (Danaus plexippus)

Monarch (Danaus plexippus) sipping nectar from its host plant, Common Milkweek (Asclepias syriaca)

Avery Co., NC
26 July 2006

Monarch (Danaus plexippus)

Monarch (Danaus plexippus) nectaring on thistle (Cirsium sp.)

Lubken Canyon, Inyo Co., CA
19 July 2008

Monarch (Danaus plexippus) Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
Chatham Co., NC
22 Sep 2013

Nectaring on Bidens


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Created on ... June 29, 2003 | jeffpippen9@gmail.com