12 Şubat 2013 Salı

Minnesota State Insect

Minnesota State Insect

Monarch Butterfly (common name)
Danaus plexippus 
(scientific name)


The monarch is a large orange-and-black butterfly known for its attractive coloration, unique migratory journey, and fascinating multi-stage life cycle. It was formally adopted as the state insect of Alabama in 1989, Idaho in 1992, Illinois in 1975, Minnesota in 2000, and Texas in 1995. The monarch is also the state butterfly of Vermont (1987) and West Virginia (1995). 
Adult monarchs possess two pairs of brilliant orange wings with black wing veins and outer margins and white spots along the edges. Males have unique black dots (stigmata) along the veins of their wings and are slightly bigger than females. Milkweed butterflies like monarchs, queens, and soldiers are dependent on the milkweed plant and well known for their long annual migrations. Milkweed is poisonous to vertebrates, so the monarchs who feed on milkweed become unpalatable or even poisonous to potential predators. The black-headed grosbeak and the black-backed Oriole are the only bird species that can digest the monarch.


Wingspan: 3.5–4 in (8.9–10.2 cm)
Larvae: Black head and body with nine black, white, and yellow rings. It features three pairs of legs with claws attached and five pairs of "prolegs" that extend backwards.
Adult: 4–6 weeks on average, although butterflies that emerge in the fall will live for six to eight months.
Fields, meadows, prairies, and urban and suburban parks and gardens. In winter they live in warmer climates with thick tree cover.
Range: Southern Canada to northern South America. Also found on various South Pacific islands, Sri Lanka, India, the Azores, the Canary Islands, and even parts of Western Europe.
Flight period: Usually starts in October, although if the weather turns cold earlier, they may migrate earlier.
Conservation status: Wintering locations in Mexican mountain areas are threatened by logging.
Monarch butterflies born late in the summer migrate in the autumn from their breeding grounds to their winter habitats. In North America, monarchs in the East go to fir forests in volcanic mountain areas in central Mexico, while those living in the West go to parts of California where they hibernate. The monarch can fly as high as 1,000 feet (300 m), is capable of non-stop flight for over 600 miles (1,000 km), and is the only insect to migrate up to 2,500 miles (4,200 km) to overwinter.  
Adults: Nectar from different kinds of flowers
Larvae: Milkweed
  • The butterfly was officially referred to as monarch in print for the first time in 1874 by American entomologist Samuel Hubbard Scudder, who wrote, "It is one of the largest of our butterflies and rules a vast domain." The name is likely to have been in honor of the orange and black royal colors of King William of Orange (King William III of England).
  • The butterflies that emerge in the fall are biologically different and behave differently from those that emerge earlier in the season. They are called the "Methuselah generation," after the biblical story of Methuselah, the oldest man, because they live 7 to8 months instead of 4 to 6 weeks like the first three generations in a calendar year. This fourth generation of the year is the only one to migrate to a warmer climate, hibernate, and then start new generations of butterflies.
  • The monarch’s genus name Danaus refers to the daughters of Libyan King Danaus, who migrated to Greece to avoid marrying their cousins.
  • The Aztecs considered monarchs the incarnation of their dead warriors.
  • A single Mexican fir tree can be covered with as many as 50,000 butterflies.
  • The monarch butterfly breathes through its wings.

Click to enlarge an image
State Insect
Male Monarch Feeding on Flower
State Insect
Female Monarch
State Insect
Wintering Monarch Butterflies
State Insect
Monarch Butterflies Mating
State Insect
Monarch Caterpillar Spins a Silk Chrysalis
State Insect
Monarch Emerging from Chrysalis

Species:D. plexippus
Author: World Trade Press

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