Species Page: Monarch (Danaus plexippus)


Danaus plexippus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Family: Nymphalidae (formerly Danaidae)

Status: Common breeding migrant

NENHP Ranking: S2, Tier 1

Range: This butterfly overwinters in coastal California and in Mexico (in mountainous areas south of Mexico City). From these overwintering sites females and subsequent generations migrate north as far north as central Canada. The Monarch is found statewide in Nebraska.

Larval Hostplant(s): Milkweeds (Asclepius sp.).

Broods/Flight Times: Adults arrive in May and migrate back south in early September, breeding continuously through most of the summer.

Overwintering: As adults in Mexico and California.

Habitat: As migrants they might be found anywhere.

Avg. Wingspan: 3 3/8 – 4 7/8 inches

Found at: Ash Hollow SHP, Rowe Sanctuary, Box Elder SWMA

Similar Species: Viceroys and Queens

Notes: Larvae and adults are distasteful due to cardiac glycosides they ingest from milkweeds they consume as larvae.