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Monarch butterfly

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Female monarch butterfly in May
Male monarch butterfly

The monarch butterfly (scientific name : Danaus plexippus) is a butterfly of North and Central America. Its larvae feed on milkweed, but the adults feed on the nectar of many flowers. The monarch is the most familiar butterfly in North America. Its wings feature an orange and black pattern, with a wingspan of 8.9–10.2 cm (3½–4 in). Male monarch butterflies are a bit larger than the females.

The eastern North American monarch butterfly migrates southward in late summer/autumn from the United States and southern Canada to Mexico, covering thousands of miles. The North American monarch butterflies west of the Rocky Mountains migrate to California.


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