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Danaus plexippus - Linnaeus, 1758

Danaus plexippus - Linnaeus, 1758
Photo Information
Copyright: Jesus Linares (jlinaresp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1303 W: 56 N: 4023] (17292)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-08-29
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon D3100, Nikkor 55-200mm AF-S 1:4-5.6 G ED DX VR
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/1600 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2011-09-03 3:33
Viewed: 3393
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 48
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Danaus plexippus - Linnaeus, 1758 (Monarch Butterfly)

Hello friends!

This is quite repeated in TN, but is a butterfly always impressive to photograph; she is beautiful, opulent, colorful! For something is called "Monarch"!



Reino: Animalia
Filo: Arthropoda
Clase: Insecta
Orden: Lepidoptera
Familia: Nymphalidae
Subfamilia: Danainae
Tribu: Danaini
Subtribu: Danaina
Género: Danaus -Kluk, 1802
Especie: D. plexippus
Nombre binomial: Danaus plexippus - Linnaeus, 1758

Common name: Monarch

Description: The Monarch’s wingspan ranges from 8.9–10.2 cm (3½–4 in.). The upper side of the wings is tawny-orange, the veins and margins are black, and in the margins are two series of small white spots. The fore wings also have a few orange spots near the tip. The underside is similar but the tip of the fore wing and hind wing are yellow-brown instead of tawny-orange and the white spots are larger.

The male has a black patch of androconial scales responsible for dispersing pheromones on the hind wings, and the black veins on its wing are narrower than the female’s. The male is also slightly larger.

A color variation has been observed in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and the United States as early as the late 19th century. Named nivosus by Lepidopterists, it is grayish white in all areas of the wings that are normally orange. Generally it is only about 1% or less of all monarchs, but has maintained populations as high as 10% on Oahu in Hawaii, possibly due to selective predation.

Like all insects the Monarch has six legs, however it uses only four of its legs as it carries its two front legs against its body.

The eggs are creamy white and later turn pale yellow. They are elongate and subconical, with approximately 23 longitudinal ridges and many fine traverse lines.[13] A single egg weighs about 0.46 milligrams (0.0071 gr), and measures about 1.2 millimetres (47 mils) high and 0.9 millimetres (35 mils) wide.

The caterpillar is banded with yellow, black, and white stripes. The head is also striped with yellow and black. There are two pairs of black filaments, one pair on each end of the body. The caterpillar will reach a length of 5 cm (2 in).

The chrysalis is blue-green with a band of black and gold on the end of the abdomen. There are other gold spots on the thorax, the wing bases, and the eyes.

Distribution: In North America, the Monarch ranges from southern Canada to northern South America. It rarely strays to western Europe (rarely as far as Greece) from being transported by U. S. ships or by flying there if weather and wind conditions are right. It has also been found in Bermuda, Hawaii, the Solomons, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Australia, New Guinea, Ceylon, India, the Azores, and the Canary Islands.

Migration: Monarchs are especially noted for their lengthy annual migration. In North America they make massive southward migrations starting in August until the first frost. A northward migration takes place in the spring. The monarch is the only butterfly that migrates both north and south as the birds do on a regular basis. But no single individual makes the entire round trip. Female monarchs deposit eggs for the next generation during these migrations.

By the end of October, the population east of the Rocky Mountains migrates to the sanctuaries of the Mariposa Monarca Biosphere Reserve within the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt pine-oak forests in the Mexican states of Michoacán and México. The western population overwinters in various sites in central coastal and southern California, United States, notably in Pacific Grove and Santa Cruz.

The length of these journeys exceeds the normal lifespan of most monarchs, which is less than two months for butterflies born in early summer. The last generation of the summer enters into a non-reproductive phase known as diapause and may live seven months or more. During diapause, butterflies fly to one of many overwintering sites. The generation that overwinters generally does not reproduce until it leaves the overwintering site sometime in February and March.

It is thought that the overwinter population of those east of the Rockies may reach as far north as Texas and Oklahoma during the spring migration. It is the second, third and fourth generations that return to their northern locations in the United States and Canada in the spring. How the species manages to return to the same overwintering spots over a gap of several generations is still a subject of research; the flight patterns appear to be inherited, based on a combination of the position of the sun in the sky and a time-compensated Sun compass that depends upon a circadian clock that is based in their antennae. New research has also shown that Monarch butterflies can use the earth's magnetic field for orientation. The antennae contain cryptochrome a photoreceptor protein that is sensitive to the violet-blue part of the spectrum. In the presence of violet or blue light it can function as a chemical compass, which tells the animal if it is aligned with the earths magnetic field, but it is unable to tell the difference between the magnetic North or South. The complete magnetical sense is present in a single antenna.

Monarch butterflies are one of the few insects capable of making trans-Atlantic crossings. They are becoming more common in Bermuda due to increased usage of milkweed as an ornamental plant in flower gardens. Monarch butterflies born in Bermuda remain year round due to the island's mild climate. A few monarchs turn up in the far southwest of Great Britain in years when the wind conditions are right, and have been sighted as far east as Long Bennington. In Australia, Monarchs make limited migrations in cooler areas, but the Blue Tiger butterfly is better known in Australia for its lengthy migration. Monarchs can also be found in New Zealand. On the islands of Hawaii no migrations have been noted.

Monarch butterflies are poisonous or distasteful to birds and mammals because of the presence of cardiac glycosides that are contained in milkweed consumed by the larva. It is thought that the bright colors of larvae and adults function as warning colors. During hibernation monarch butterflies sometimes suffer losses because hungry birds pick through them looking for the butterflies with the least amount of poison, but in the process killing those that they reject.

A recent study examined wing colors of migrating monarchs using computer image analysis and found migrants had darker orange (reddish colored) wings than breeding monarch.

About this shot:
Model: NIKON D3100
Software: Adobe Photoshop CS3 Windows
Exposure Time: 10/16000 sec
F-Stop: f/7.1
ISO Speed Ratings: 800
Focal Length: 200 mm
Date Taken: 2011-08-29 10:00
Metering Mode: Center Weighted Average
File Size: 273 kb

cobra112, PaulLees, stefanovet, ana974, marius-secan, BREARD, paolo49, maurydv, jaycee, nikosrio has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To marius-secan: Re: Mariusjlinaresp 1 09-04 03:35
To Silvio2006: RE: Silviojlinaresp 2 09-03 10:20
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Critiques [Translate]

Ciao Jesus, piacere di averti per vicino di giornata, anche se la mia povera farfallina scompare accanto a tanta bellezza, splendida macro con fantastici colori, ottima nitidezza e magnifici dettagli, bravissimo,buon week end, ciao Silvio

Ciao Jesus. Dettaglio finissimo ed eccelelnte nitidezza. I colori: uno spettacolo.


  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2011-09-03 4:23]

Sembra una statua sulla torta degli sposi.Che composizione straordinaria e che qualita' impressionante,non una foto ma un gioiello!! Complimenti e buon weekend,Luciano.

Hi Jesus, Wow what an incredible capture of this fine Butterfly my good friend, this is absolute quality work with precision in all the departments 10/10 for me Bravo!, Classic entry today Jesus and very well done,
Best regards,


  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2011-09-03 5:39]

Hello Jesus.
It's a wonderful Monarch you shot there. Very sharp, very bright and natural colors. Great composition and great background.Best regards Siggi

La cosa che mi piace di più è il contrasto con questi colori accesi così"tropicali" Speriamo che la Monarca emigri presto anche da noi, anche se dubito che si riescano a tirar fuori immagini così calde e brillanti.

Jesus, this monarch is just beautiful. The sharpness and detail are outstanding. Have a great weekend my friend, Bill

Oi, amigo Jesús!
Que linda foto!Que exuberância de cores! A flor é um elemento realmente importante em suas composições.Adorei o Bg sempre tão elegante! Essa "monarca", nós também a temos por aqui.Ela é adorável e você a fez mais linda ainda! parabéns por mais um GREAT SHOT! E obrigada por compartilhar!
Tenha um maravilhoso fim de semana !
Um abraço grande,

Hola Jesus.
Precioso ejemplar de Monarca.Magnifica composicion y bellos colores,excelentes detalles.
Buen fin de semana

A wonderful composition. Excellent detail and wonderful colours. A great butterfly too. regards yiannis

Hello Jesus,
Wonderful composition with sharp details and gorgeous colours. I also like the POV and the constasting neutral BG. Well done!

hello Jesus
very good picture with great sharpness and beautiful colours
great composition
thanks greeting lou

Excellent photo Jesus. The colours and the lighting are fantastic. Impressive sharpness too.

  • Great 
  • batu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1079 W: 293 N: 4497] (16383)
  • [2011-09-03 9:57]

Hola Jesus,
this picture nicely fits to my last one showing a caterpillar of plexippus.
Clear - sharp - well exposed - well composed!
Best wishes, Peter

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2011-09-03 11:53]

Hello Jesús,
A photo in perfect clarity and composition. What a beauty! Great quality in all aspects.

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2011-09-03 17:36]

Hello Jesus,
exciting shot and superb colors presentation. The simplicity is the key to success here. Lively view and pleasant natural composition.
I like the patterns and lines of the butterfly. It stands out wonderfully in the canvas background.


Hello Jesus,
Spectacular macro with natural colors and very good clarity.
Wonderful contrast against the background.
You catch a lovely butterfly with impressive colors.
Thanks for sharing!

  • Great 
  • BREARD Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 106 W: 1 N: 419] (2141)
  • [2011-09-03 22:22]

Bonjour jesus,
Magnifique macro aux jolies couleurs. Excellente netteté et très bel environnement.

Ciao Jesus, grande foto e grande farfalla oggi, una immagine spettacolare sotto tutti i punti di vista. Un saluto, Paolo

Ciao Jesus,
fantastica immagine per una fantastica farfalla posata su un fantastico fiore per una composizione che non può che essere fantastica
Grazie e complimenti
Buona giornata
Ciao Maurizio

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2011-09-04 11:16]

Hi Jesus,

I don't know which is more beautiful - the Monarch or the flower. The sharpness is outstanding, as are the wonderful vivid colors. The background is absolutely perfect and adds to the beauty of the picture.


Buen acercamiento y vaya colores en la mariposa !!

Hello Jesús,
beautifull b-fly with lovely colors, excellent sharpness and details, great plain BG, spectacular macro capture,
TFS, regards,

Hi Jesus,
The background, the focus on the butterfly and that gorgeous red flower are outstanding. Amazing image. I don't think you could have shot this any better. Well done and have a great weekend.

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