Monarch Butterflies are very well known

Danaus plexippus

Monarch butterflies are more easily recognized by people than any other butterfly.  But be careful not to confuse it with the Viceroy butterfly.  They look a lot alike.

A Monarch Butterfly on a Buttonbush
A male Monarch (note the tiny black spot
on the hind-wing) on a buttonbush

It is found in all regions of the state has a flight period of May to October.

It likes gardens, fields, forests, and roadsides (pretty much everywhere).

Monarch larvae feed on various milkweeds.

The males can be distinguished from the females by a black scent "patch" on the hind-wing (as seen in the picture to the right). 

The female doesn't have this patch.  The female is also larger and not as bright orange as the male.


Built-in Protection

The Monarch butterfly leaves a bad taste in the mouth of predators that try to eat it.  This is caused by the toxins found in the milkweed that the larvae eat.


The Great Migration   

Fall adults can live more than 10 months, but they don't stay in the north for the winter.  Hundreds of thousands migrate in the fall to the California coast and the mountains in Mexico for the winter. 

It is critical that this place in Mexico be saved.  If it is disturbed the Monarchs could disappear forever.  Conservation movements are being taken to protect the Mexico wintering grounds.

In Ohio, the monarch migration peaks in early to mid- September, with stragglers seen late into October. The monarchs passing through Ohio in the fall may have hatched as far away as northeastern United States and Canada. 

On rare occasions during the migration large groups of Monarchs can sometimes be found congregated in a tree for the night.


More Monarch Butterfly Pictures

Monarch caterpillars
Monarch caterpillars
eating bluntleaf Weed
Monarch Butterfly on rough blazingstar
A Monarch on rough blazingstar

Monarch butterfly on butterfly weed
A Monarch on Butterfly Weed
Monarch caterpillar
Monarch caterpillar


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