Milkweed Butterflies—Monarchs & Queens           

  • Monarch Nectaring on Thistle
    Danaus plexippus. Big Meadows, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. Sept 18, 1999.
  • Monarch Behind Joe Pye Weed
    Danaus plexippus. Hop Bottom, Pennsylvania. August 13, 2008.
  • Monarch Caterpillar
    Danaus plexippus. Ilahee Lodge—lowlands of trail from the east, Rogue River, Oregon. June 25, 2004.
  • Monarchs Basking & Necataring
    Danaus plexippus. Chincua Reserve, Angangueo, Mexico. March 1999.
  • Monarch Flying in front of Roosting Clusters
    Danaus plexippus. Chincua Reserve, Angangueo, Mexico. March 1999.
  • Mexican Children Watching Monarchs
    Danaus plexippus. Chincua Reserve, Angangueo, Mexico. March 1999.
  • Monarch on pants leg
    Danaus plexippus. El Rosario Sanctuary, Angangueo, Mexico. March 1999.
  • Monarchs Mudding
    Danaus plexippus. El Rosario Sanctuary, Angangueo, Mexico. March 1999.
  • Monarchs Mating
    Danaus plexippus. Chincua Reserve, Angangueo, Mexico. March 1999.
  • Monarch on Eucalyptus at Goleta
    Danaus plexippus. Goleta, California. October 19-20, 1995.
  • Monarchs Overhead at Goleta
    Danaus plexippus. Goleta, California. October 19-20, 1995.
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Caterpillars of these butterflies feed on milkweeds.  Unfortunately most property owners and farmers don't value milkweeds, so their habitat is reduced a little bit every year.

Monarchs are famous for their migration between summers in the United States and Canada, and winters in central Mexico.  For this story, see the United States Forest Service website Monarch Butterfly: North America's Migrating Insect. Visiting the overwintering sancturies in Michoacan, Mexico, is one of the grand experiences of a lifetime.   Our tourist money helps the area's population remain committed to safeguarding the sanctuaries, which are threatened by logging.

The monarch population and migration is also threatened by habitat degradation in the United States.  The Xerces Society has a good web page on monarch conservation.  Xerces is a powerful organization for invertebrate conservation of all kinds.

On this website, Queens may be seen among Butterfly Gallery Pieces.