IUCN threat status:

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Danaus erippus

The Southern Monarch (Danaus erippus) is a butterfly belonging to the "crows and tigers", (referring to the orange and black pattern) i.e., the danaine group of the brush-footed butterflies family. Close relatives include the Monarch (D. plexippus) and the Queen (D. gilippus).


Danaus erippus has a wingspan reaching about 110 millimetres (4.3 in), with an easily recognizable orange and black pattern. Until 2007, this butterfly was treated as a subspecies of the monarch sister species Danaus plexippus. They are very similar, but D. erippus usually has an orange trailing edge of the forewings, while in D. plexippus it is black. The lineages of the two species are thought to have separated about 2 million years ago.[1] The colour of the wings in males of the southern monarch is paler than in the females.

Larvae feed on Araujia sericifera, Araujia hortorum, Asclepias curassavica, Asclepias barjoniifolia, Morrenia odorata, and Oxypetalum coeruleum.

Similarly to D. plexippus, D. erippus exhibits migratory behaviour. Also, these butterflies fly south in the autumn towards colder latitudes for the wintering.


This species can be found in tropical and subtropical latitudes of South America, mainly in Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, and southern Peru.



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Source: Wikipedia

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