Monarchs (Danaus plexippus) are one of the most beloved butterfly species. From their bright coloring that indicates "Warning - don't eat me - I taste bad!" to their total dependence on milkweed plants to raise their young, and from their long migrations done each year to their stained-glass window like pattern on their wings... there's almost nothing we can't appreciate about the monarch!
Monarchs are easy to identify once you know what to look for. The viceroy butterfly mimics the look of the monarch to keep predators away, so can be mistaken for monarchs unless you look closely.
Download the ID Guide
Click to download the Printer-friendly, Monarchs and Milkweeds' Monarch Identification Guide to learn how to identify monarchs
To learn more about monarchs, visit the following online resources:
- General information: Butterflies and Moths of North America
- General information: Monarch Butterfly by Learn More About Nature
- General information: Monarch Butterflies by National Geographic
- Life cycle: Monarch Butterfly USA
- Migration and overwintering: US Forest Service
- Conservation program: Monarch Watch
- Monarch and Milkweed coloring book
- Monarchs and Milkweeds elementary school lesson plan