Monarch butterfly Danaus plexippus   Save
Monarch butterfly Danaus plexippus
Description: The monarch is one of the most common butterflies in Ohio. It is a part of the family Danaidae or milkweed butterflies, and can be found in all of Ohio's eighty-eight counties. The monarch butterfly can generally be found in large fields, roadsides, prairie remnants, and urban yards between May and November. It feeds on several types of milkweed plants. These plants contain poisons known as cardiac glycosides, which cause vomiting in birds. As a result, once a bird eats a monarch, it will remember the experience and rarely try another. Therefore, monarch butterflies enjoy a certain amount of protection from their predators. Another butterfly, the viceroy, mimics the coloring of the monarch for the same reason. Though the viceroy does not eat the same plants, it has the same coloring, and birds tend not to eat the viceroy because they mistake it for the monarch. These butterflies have a wing span of 3.4 to 4.9 inches (8.6 to 12.4 cm). The first image is of a female of the species; the second is a male. In Ohio there are more than 150 species of butterflies. Twenty-seven different species of butterflies representing five families can be found in the Ohio Memory Online Scrapbook, including all seven species of butterflies that are listed as endangered in Ohio. Butterflies are a part of the order Lepidoptera (from the Greek words lepis, which means scale and pteron, which means wing). There are nearly 17,500 species of butterflies world-wide. Approximately 750 of these can be found in North America. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: Om1360_1156853_001
Subjects: Plants and Animals; Butterflies; Monarch butterfly; Insects; Milkweed butterflies
Places: Ohio