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English Monarch (Danaus plexippus)

Monarch Butterfly Fun Facts

Here are some delightful and fun facts about Monarch butterflies:

1. Fashion Forward

Monarch butterflies can’t see the full spectrum of their own bright orange wings! They view them as more of a yellow-green color.

2. Migratory Marvels

Some Monarchs travel up to 3,000 miles during migration. That’s a long trip for such tiny wings!

3. Sun Navigation

Monarchs use the sun as a compass! They even have built-in time compensators to account for the sun’s movement.

4. Taste Buds on Feet

Monarchs taste with their feet! By standing on leaves, they can detect whether it’s a suitable place to lay eggs.

5. Doppelgangers

The Viceroy butterfly mimics the Monarch’s appearance to benefit from the “yuck” factor predators associate with the Monarch’s taste.

Which is the Monarch?

6. Dance of Love

Male Monarchs sometimes perform a mid-air dance to woo a female, showing off their agile flying skills.

7. Living Thermometers

On a cool morning, if you find a Monarch butterfly clamped onto a flower or plant, it’s likely “recharging.” They need the sun’s warmth to fly, as their flight muscles must be at least 55°F to function.

8. Milkweed Connoisseurs

While Monarch caterpillars primarily eat milkweed, they can be picky about the type! There are over 100 species of milkweed, but Monarchs have their favorites.

9. Life in Fast-Forward

Monarch butterflies live only 2-6 weeks as adults, but the generation that migrates lives up to 8 months! Talk about the golden generation.

10. Butterfly Spa

After emerging from their chrysalis, Monarchs hang upside down to pump fluid into their wings. It’s like their version of a spa day before their first flight!

I hope these brought a smile to your face! Monarch butterflies are truly fascinating creatures with plenty of quirks to learn about… one day at a time!

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