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Monarch caterpillar

Danaus plexippus


The Monarch’s wingspan ranges from 3½–4 inches. The upper side of the wings is tawny-orange, the veins and margins are black, and in the margins are two series of small white spots. The fore wings also have a few orange spots near the tip. The underside is similar but the tip of the fore wing and hind wing are yellow-brown instead of tawny-orange and the white spots are larger. The male has a black patch of androconial scales responsible for dispersing pheromones on the hind wings, and the black veins on its wing are narrower than the female’s. The male is also slightly larger.


Semi rural

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YurianaMartínez 11 years ago

wow, i had never seen this stage. In mexican forests you often see the adults. Lovely spotting!

KarenL 11 years ago

Thank you manuelap1!

KarenL 11 years ago

Thanks sofi!

KarenL 11 years ago

Thank you maca & helu!

KarenL 11 years ago

Thanks Hayden! How lovely to watch the whole life cycle! I've brought a couple of cecropia moth cocoons indoors & I'm hoping that they both eclose, & if I'm lucky around the same time & be a male & a female!

HaydenG 11 years ago

Beautiful picture! I raise these during the summer, along with many other butterflies. Right now I'm raising Red Admiral caterpillars.

KarenL 11 years ago

Thanks Oneng & Mayra!

OnengDyah 11 years ago

Nice color...

MayraSpringmann 11 years ago

Nice spotting!!

KarenL 11 years ago

Thanks Leanne & Stian!

LeanneGardner 11 years ago

Wow! Beautiful pictures & what a striking caterpillar!

Stian Waaler
Stian Waaler 11 years ago

Wow, awesome pictures Karen ;)

KarenL 11 years ago

Jacob, we didn't see any caterpillars last spring (nothing for them to eat then!) so I'm not sure how early we usually get them here. It has been a very mild winter & an early spring, & the butterfly weeds we planted last fall are covered in them so we should get a bumper crop of Monarch butterflies this year!

Jacob Gorneau
Jacob Gorneau 11 years ago

Amazing these are out in TN now, they don't come around here until August, or sometimes early September!!

KarenL 11 years ago

Thank you Gerardo!

Gerardo Aizpuru
Gerardo Aizpuru 11 years ago

Very nice grate photos :)

KarenL 11 years ago

Thanks Satyen, Christy & Bernadette!

Jeannette 11 years ago

Beautiful :)

Bernadette S
Bernadette S 11 years ago

Love that second shot!

ChristyHolland 11 years ago

Beautiful shots, Karen! I grew up with these all over in MN, but they are NOT in CO! (or maybe I just haven't looked!) ;-)

Wild Things
Wild Things 11 years ago

Nice find.

Spotted by

Franklin, Tennessee, USA

Spotted on Apr 20, 2012
Submitted on Apr 22, 2012

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