Invertebrate Danaus plexippus (Monarch or Wanderer butterfly)

Dusty Miller

Alexander Pearce
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Scientific Name: Danaus chrysippus ssp. petilia

Common Name(s): Wanderer

Other Names: Monarch, Milkweed Butterfly (generic)

Class: Insecta

Order: Lepidoptera

Family: Nymphalidae

Tribe: Danaini

Genus: Danaus

Species: D. plexippus

Distribution: Worldwide

Habitat: Most habitats, where milkweed hosts grow. Migratory.

Field Notes: ~90mm wingspan. Dark spots (two, enlargements of the wind vein, not eyespots) on hindwing of males only. It is orange-brown, with black veins and a black and white spotted band all
around the wing margins. Heads black with white spots. Caterpilars feed on milkweed plants. Caterpillers blac yellow and white banded. A recent arrival in Australia (1880's).


resting at night.
 

AussiePreppers

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Thanks - I just watched it hatch, and for a while after that they just fan their wings and can't fly. Could have put it somewhere more natural I guess ;)
 

Dusty

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Thought I would post this male Monarch as comparison to Aussie Prepper's female.

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Male with dot in each hind wing. Second photo taken with morning light shining through wings.
Monarchs have a slow gliding flight and the males tend to patrol areas of larval food plants waiting for the females.

Introduced species to Australia. Queensland is the main state where these butterflies are permanantly established. Females breed throughout the year along the coast. Other states experience more temporary breeding from migratory dispersement.

Reference
Braby, M. (2004). The complete field guide to butterflies of Australia.
 
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Dusty

John McDouall Stuart
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Still haven't seen a female monarch at our place yet, but excited to find this beautiful caterpillar.


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Anterior and lateral views - eating milky plant early morning.

Photo by Dusty, May 2012. Location: My yard
 
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