Danaus plexippus







Forewing Length

41-48 mm


Throughout North, Central, and South America, West Indies, Cocos Island, Philip- pines, Australia, Sulawesi, Moluccas, New Guinea, and as a rare migrant to Western Europe.

Host Plant

Asclepias curassavica, other Asclepias spp, Matelea (Asclepiadaceae).

Pupa Stage

Approximately 8-10 days.

Pupa Description

Pale green, barrel shaped, tapering abruptly at the head and cremaster; black cremaster; gold spotting on wingpads.

Adults Description

Very distinct, cannot be confused with anything else in Central America. The Costa Rican populations differ from the migratory North American population by not having the forewing margin excavated.

Habits Description

Widespread and common in all open areas on both slopes, from sea level to 2,500 m. Especially common in pasturelands above 1,500 m, where its hostplant is an abundant weed. Unlike many other butterfly species, the Guanacast populations do not show reproductive diapause during the dry season. They stay close to rivers where the hostplants also occur as reproductive individuals.