Monarch Butterfly Facts
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Lepidoptera
- Family: Nymphalidae
- Genus: Danaus
- Species: D. plexippus
13 Monarch Butterfly Facts for Kids
- The monarch butterfly is a milkweed butterfly that is a member of the genus Danaus.
- The binomial name for the monarch butterfly is Danaus plexippus.
- The monarch butterfly was given its name in 1758, by Carl Linnaeus, a Swedish botanist, zoologist, and physician.
- It’s believed the monarch butterfly got its name to honor the king of England, William III.
- The monarch butterfly is easy to identify by the black, orange and white patterns on their wings.
- The average wingspan of a monarch butterfly is between 3.5 and 4 inches.
- The monarch butterfly goes through four stages of metamorphosis, which includes egg, larvae, pupa and adult.
- Monarch butterfly larvae (caterpillar) exclusively eat milkweed plants.
- Adult monarch butterflies eat nectar for many different flowing plants.
- Adult monarch butterflies migrate over very large distances, up to 4,800 miles.
- The monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is commonly confused with the viceroy butterfly (Limenitis archippus).
- In 2009, monarch butterflies were bred and raised on International Space Station.
- A monarch butterfly garden is when someone grows plants specifically to attract monarch butterflies.
Monarch Butterfly Pictures
A picture of the monarch butterfly on a flower.
Credit: Charlie Neibergall / AP
A picture of two monarch butterflies on a plant.
A diagram of the monarch butterfly showing all parts.
Credit: The Joyful Learner
Additional Resources for Monarch Butterfly Facts
- Monarch Butterfly – National Geographic – Discover more amazing facts about the monarch butterfly on the National Geographic website.
- Monarch Butterfly – WWF – Visit the World Wildlife Fund website to learn more about the monarch butterfly.
- Monarch Butterfly – National Wildlife Federation – Discover more amazing facts about the monarch butterfly on the National Wildlife Federation website.