Monarch butterfly

Monarch butterfly rests on Brazilian nightshade weeds in the Dawn Road Reserve

Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) rests on Brazilian nightshade weeds in the Dawn Road Reserve

UPDATE (25/1/2016): Watch the fascinating lifecycle of the Monarch butterfly online.

Known as the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus or wanderer butterfly), this insect is referred to by enthusiasts as the king of butterflies.

While this insect is a regular visitor to the Dawn Road Reserve from late summer onwards for up to eight months (their usual lifespan), internationally it is regarded as an endangered species, so we are blessed to see it locally.

With a wingspan up to 10.5cm, these beautiful, brightly coloured visitors flit from plant to plant, so if you want to photograph one, you have to be patient!

Sources:
Learn About Nature-Monarch Butterfly
National Geographic
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Image: Trina McLellan

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