Identify It > Butterfly Section > Monarch Butterflies >
Scientific name: Danaus plexippusl.
Size: Wingspan up to 100mm
Distribution: Sometimes found in England and Wales. Frequent sightings in Cornwall.
Months seen: August to October
Habitat: Coastal gardens
Food: Nectar. Monarch caterpillars eat milkweeds
Special features: The Monarch butterfly is a rare migrant, most likely from America, since most sightings occur on the west coasts of Britain. If they are from America it's likely they get blown off course on their annual southerly migration to Mexico.
Being such a large butterfly they are almost unmistakable. They are a vibrant orange colour with black veins and black borders to the wings.
Monarchs are unable to breed in the UK as we do not have the poisonous milkweed plants which the yellow and black Monarch caterpillars feed on.