Monarch Danaus plexippus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Status:

The Monarch (Danaus plexippus) is one of the most celebrated and recognizable insects in North America. This large butterfly is a powerful flier, and certain populations are generational migrants, spending the winter at protected forest sites in the highlands of Mexico. The following spring, the ones that hibernated migrate north, and over several generations, breeding as they move north, the species spreads over most of North America as far north as southern Canada for the summer. This species cannot tolerate freezing temperatures, so the entire population (millions of individuals) migrates south in autumn. Some individuals make it all the way to Mexico (Brock & Kaufman, 2003).

Description:

Unmistakable. The Viceroy is a Monarch mimic but with practice the two species can easily be separated. The black line that bisects the hindwings on a Viceroy is diagnostic for Viceroy and is never present in Monarchs.

Where to find:

During the summer Monarchs can be quite conspicuous as they search for stands of milkweed on which to lay their eggs. Towards the middle of September Monarch numbers will begin to rise as they begin their southern migration. Large numbers can be viewed migrating during early northerly fronts. On cool fall morning mass numbers of Monarchs can occasionally be observed at the tips of peninsulas like Pt. Lookout and Black Walnut Point hanging from the trees as they wait for the sun to warm them so they can continue on their migration south.

Relationships:

Completely reliant on milkweeds, especially Common Milkweed. Also uses Butterfly Weed.

There are 642 records in the project database.

GA AL WA FR CL MO HO BA BC HA CE PG AA CV CH SM KE QA CN TA DO WI SO WO 
A Monarch in Baltimore Co., Maryland (8/19/2014). Photo by Frode Jacobsen. (MBP list)

A Monarch in Frederick Co., Maryland (10/2/2016). Photo by Andy Wilson. (MBP list)

A Monarch in Worcester Co., Maryland (6/17/2014). Photo by Frode Jacobsen. (MBP list)

A Monarch in Baltimore Co., Maryland (7/22/2005). Photo by Bill Vanko. (MBP list)

A Monarch found in Kent Co., Maryland (9/30/2007). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

Migrant Monarchs at Point Lookout State Park in St. Mary's Co., Maryland (10/19/2014). Photo by Mikey Lutmerding. (MBP list)

A tagged Monarch in Talbot Co., Maryland (8/21/2017). Photo by Erica Weick. (MBP list)

A Monarch at Point Lookout SP, Maryland (10/16/2013). Photo by Benjamin DeHaven. (MBP list)

A Monarch in Howard Co., Maryland (9/13/2015). Photo by Kevin Heffernan. (MBP list)

A Monarch at Patterson Park in Baltimore City, Maryland (8/9/2014). Photo by Mike Hudson. (MBP list)

A fresh Monarch at the Jemicy Upper School in Baltimore Co., Maryland (7/30/2015). Photo by Emily Stanley. (MBP list)

A Monarch at the Jemicy Upper School in Baltimore Co., Maryland (7/10/2015). Photo by Emily Stanley. (MBP list)

A Monarch in Baltimore Co., Maryland (8/19/2014). Photo by Frode Jacobsen. (MBP list)

Monarch in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (8/25/2015). Photo by Bill Harms. (MBP list)

Monarch in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (8/7/2010). Photo by Bill Harms. (MBP list)

A Monarch caterpillar in Baltimore Co., Maryland (9/14/2012). Photo by Jon Corcoran. (MBP list)

A Monarch caterpillar in Baltimore Co., Maryland (9/14/2012). Photo by Jon Corcoran. (MBP list)

A Monarch caterpillar in Cecil Co., Maryland (8/31/2015). Photo by Shannon Schade. (MBP list)

A Monarch caterpillar in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (8/8/2012). Photo by Kerry Wixted. (MBP list)

Monarch in Baltimore Co., Maryland (9/5/2016). Photo by Bob Spicer. (MBP list)

A Monarch caterpillar at Fort Smallwood Park, Maryland (9/2/2013). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

A Monarch caterpillar in Carroll Co., Maryland (8/18/2015). Photo by Barbara Speckart. (MBP list)

A Monarch larva in Baltimore Co., Maryland (8/30/2014). Photo by Frode Jacobsen. (MBP list)

A Monarch caterpillar at the Jemicy Upper School in Baltimore Co., Maryland (7/10/2015). Photo by Emily Stanley. (MBP list)

A Monarch caterpillar on Common Milkweed at the Jemicy School in Baltimore Co., Maryland (7/2013). Photo by Emily Stanley. (MBP list)

A Monarch chrysalis in Howard Co., Maryland (7/30/2016). Photo by Kevin Heffernan. (MBP list)

A Monarch chrysalis in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (9/19/2010). Photo by Kerry Wixted. (MBP list)

A Monarch chrysalis in Baltimore City, Maryland (8/7/2006). Photo by Thomas Wilson. (MBP list)

A Monarch chrysalis in Cecil Co., Maryland (8/26/2017). Photo by Shannon Schade. (MBP list)

A Monarch chrysalis in Queen Anne's Co., Maryland (8/11/2014). Photo by Brandon Woo. (MBP list)

A Monarch chrysalis in Cecil Co., Maryland (8/26/2017). Photo by Shannon Schade. (MBP list)

A Monarch chrysalis in Cecil Co., Maryland (8/26/2017). Photo by Shannon Schade. (MBP list)

A Monarch egg in Carroll Co., Maryland (7/9/2014). Photo by Anna Letaw. (MBP list)

A first instar Monarch caterpillar in Carroll Co., Maryland (7/9/2014). Photo by Anna Letaw. (MBP list)

A Monarch in flight over Cape May Co., New Jersey (9/30/2012). Photo by Sam Galick. (MBP list)

A Monarch caterpillar in Howard Co., Maryland (9/11/2017). Photo by Kevin Heffernan. (MBP list)

A Monarch caterpillar in Cecil Co., Maryland (8/26/2017). Photo by Shannon Schade. (MBP list)

A Monarch caterpillar in Howard Co., Maryland (8/20/2017). Photo by Anthony VanSchoor. (MBP list)

A Monarch egg in Harford Co., Maryland (9/3/2017). Photo by Josh Emm. (MBP list)


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