25 Fun Facts about Monarch Butterflies that will Surprise You

(Last Updated On: September 22, 2021)

We have a stock of fun facts about monarch butterflies. The monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is a milkweed butterfly in the Nymphalidae family (subfamily Danainae). Milkweed, common tiger, wanderer, and black veined brown are some of the other frequent names, depending on the location. In this article, we will share more fun facts about monarch butterflies.

It is perhaps the most well-known North American butterfly and is regarded as an iconic pollinator. With a wingspan of 8.9–10.2 cm (3+12–4 in), it has a clearly recognized black, orange, and white pattern. The viceroy butterfly, a Müllerian imitation, is similar in color and pattern to the Müllerian, although it is smaller and has an additional black stripe across each hindwing.

The yearly late-summer/autumn migration of eastern North American monarch butterflies from the northern and central United States, as well as southern Canada, to Florida and Mexico, is well-known. Monarch butterflies migrate hundreds of kilometers in the fall, with a multi-generational return north.

The monarch butterfly population in western North America west of the Rocky Mountains generally migrates to southern California, although it has also been recorded overwintering in Mexico. On the International Space Station, monarch butterflies have been produced. In 2009, a space study was conducted.

Facts about monarch butterflies

Let’s go with these interesting facts about monarch butterflies!

1. Every year, monarch butterflies migrate 3,000 miles and can fly up to 100 miles each day. To travel such great distances, require a mix of air currents and thermals.

2. A monarch butterfly only lives for 2 to 6 weeks after hatching.

3. Monarch caterpillars feed on poisonous milkweed plants, making monarch butterflies deadly to birds and other creatures.

4. Early settlers were so taken with the monarch butterfly’s brilliant orange that they called it “Monarch” after King William III, Prince of Orange.

5. Monarch butterflies fly at a pace of around 5.5 miles per hour (9 kilometers per hour). The average person jogs at 6–8 miles per hour.

6. Monarch butterflies, like other insects, have six legs. Its forelegs, on the other hand, are vestigial, so it only utilizes its middle and hind legs.

7. Monarch butterflies may fly up to 10,000 feet in the air.

8. Caterpillars eat the skins they shed. In reality, this caterpillar is quite resourceful! It consumes the eggshell when it initially emerges from the egg.

9. They have a rapid growth rate. The monarch caterpillar may grow to a weight of 2,700 times its initial size. Given that it is only in its caterpillar form for 10 to 14 days, this is rather amazing!

10. It is the State Insect of five United States of America. Texas, Minnesota, Idaho, Illinois, and Alabama all have monarch butterflies as their state insect. It’s also the state butterfly of West Virginia and Vermont.

11. Danaus plexippus is their scientific name. This is Greek for “sleepy metamorphosis,” and it alludes to the chrysalis’ transformation process.

12. A monarch butterfly’s brain is about the size of a pinhead.

fun facts about monarch butterflies

13. The first butterflies to have their genome sequenced were monarch butterflies.

14. The male monarch butterfly is distinguished from the female monarch butterfly by a black dot on the inside surface of the wings.

15. Monarch butterflies are the only butterflies that migrate in both directions, just like birds.

16. The monarch butterfly with the greatest range went 265 miles in a single day.

17. Scientists think monarch butterflies utilize a combination of the earth’s magnetic pull and the sun’s location to navigate during migration.

18. Monarch butterflies cluster together to keep warm. Thousands of monarch butterflies can congregate on a single tree.

19. The migration of monarch butterflies is instinctive. So, while a butterfly may not survive to return to its origin, the butterflies produced from its eggs will, despite having never been there before.

20. On the hind wings of male monarch butterflies, there are two black spots and thinner black webbing within the wings.

21. Each butterfly relies on the massive amount of food it ate as a caterpillar for sustenance throughout its trip.

22. Monarch butterflies use their antennae to smell. The sensory hairs on their legs and feet taste nectar and water.

23. In Mexico, a downpour with cold temperatures killed up to 250 million monarch butterflies in 2002. At one of its mountain sanctuaries, an estimated 80% of the butterflies died.

24. The surface of a monarch’s wing is covered in thousands of tiny, multicolored scales. Monarchs lose their color as a result of the loss of these scales.

25. Monarch butterflies consume a lot of food and can increase up to 2,700 times their initial weight.

I hope you have enjoyed these fun facts about monarch butterflies!

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