A Picture of a Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly Facts

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Lepidoptera
  • Family: Nymphalidae
  • Genus: Danaus
  • Species: D. plexippus

13 Monarch Butterfly Facts for Kids

  1. The monarch butterfly is a milkweed butterfly that is a member of the genus Danaus.
  2. The binomial name for the monarch butterfly is Danaus plexippus.
  3. The monarch butterfly was given its name in 1758, by Carl Linnaeus, a Swedish botanist, zoologist, and physician.
  4. It’s believed the monarch butterfly got its name to honor the king of England, William III.
  5. The monarch butterfly is easy to identify by the black, orange and white patterns on their wings.
  6. The average wingspan of a monarch butterfly is between 3.5 and 4 inches.
  7. The monarch butterfly goes through four stages of metamorphosis, which includes egg, larvae, pupa and adult.
  8. Monarch butterfly larvae (caterpillar) exclusively eat milkweed plants.
  9. Adult monarch butterflies eat nectar for many different flowing plants.
  10. Adult monarch butterflies migrate over very large distances, up to 4,800 miles.
  11. The monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is commonly confused with the viceroy butterfly (Limenitis archippus).
  12. In 2009, monarch butterflies were bred and raised on International Space Station.
  13. A monarch butterfly garden is when someone grows plants specifically to attract monarch butterflies.

Additional Resources for Monarch Butterfly Facts