monarch-butterfly-photo.jpgThe name "monarch" is believed to be given in honor of King William III of England, whose secondary title Prince of Orange makes a reference to the butterfly's main color.

There are three species of monarch butterflies:

  • Danaus plexippus, is the species known most commonly as the monarch butterfly of North America. Its range actually extends worldwide and can be found in Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Spain and the Pacific Islands.
  • Danaus erippus, the southern monarch is found in tropical and subtropical latitudes of South America, mainly in Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and southern Peru. 
  • Danaus. cleophile, the Jamaican monarch, ranges from Jamaica to Hispaniola.


The life cycle of the butterfly consists of four stages: Egg, caterpillar, Pupa, and Adult

The monarch, emerges from its Pupa stage as a distinctively beautiful adult butterfly.  It then begins a journey of migration for its brief lifespan of 2-4 weeks.  During its short existence, each generation will lay its eggs to continue the 4-stage cycle of life for the next generation.