Scientific name: Danaus plexippus Average weight: 1.5 g (caterpillar) 0.4 g (butterfly) Average wingspan: 93–105 mm Average lifespan: 6–8 weeks (summer generation) 6–8 months (winter generation) The monarch butterfly’s bright colouring is famous, but also functional: it warns predators that it is poisonous. Even monarch larvae or caterpillars have bold black, yellow and white stripes. This is unlike most immature butterflies, which tend to blend into their environments.
© 2010, Royal Canadian Geographical Society. All Rights Reserved.