Danaus plexippus (Wanderer or Monarch)

The Wanderer or Monarch Butterfly is well-known in North America for its massive and wide-ranging migrations. In Australia, the species also makes limited migratory movements in cooler areas. It has only been present in Australia since about 1871.


Adult Wanderer Butterflies are orange-brown with black wing veins and a black and white spotted band along the edge of the wings. The caterpillar is distinctive, with black, white and yellow stripes across its body. It has two pairs of black tentacles – a longer pair at the front of the body and a shorter pair on the eighth body segment.

The Wanderer Butterfly is found in eastern and southern Australia, in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria (uncommon) and South Australia. They are commonly seen in Sydney during summer, usually flying at ground level. They have been recorded at speeds of up to 40 km per hour. The earliest sighting of this butterfly in Sydney was in 1871, although the population only became established when its food plants, including poisonous milkweed, were also introduced.

This entry was published on March 24, 2017 at 13:30 and is filed under Macro, Photography. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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