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Genus Danaus

Monarch For Illinois In October - Danaus plexippus Monarch - Danaus plexippus - male Monarch on Liatris aspera - Danaus plexippus Danaus gilippus - male Soldier - Danaus eresimus - male Soldier - Danaus eresimus Monarch caterpillar - Danaus plexippus Monarch chrysalis - Danaus plexippus Queen Butterfly Life Cycle - Danaus gilippus
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Papilionoidea (Butterflies and Skippers)
Family Nymphalidae (Brush-footed Butterflies)
Subfamily Danainae (Milkweed Butterflies & Glasswings)
Tribe Danaini (Milkweed Butterflies)
Genus Danaus
Other Common Names
Milkweeds, Tigers, Monarchs, Queens and Soldiers.
Explanation of Names
A name from Greek mythology. Danaus (Greek δαναος) was son of Belus, king of Egypt and twin brother to Aegyptus. Apparently Aegyptus ruled in Egypt and Danaus in Libya. Danaus was driven out of the area by his brother and went to Argos in Greece. His daughters were the Danaids. I can't see any particular connection of Danaus to the genus, other than the regal nature of the butterflies.
Numbers
Scott, (1) pp. 228-232, lists three North American species: Monarch, D. plexippus; Queen, D. gilippus; Soldier, D. eresimus.
12 species worldwide.
Range
D. plexippus, The Monarch, is widespread in North America, esp. in migration. D. gilippus, The Queen, is resident in south Texas, parts of the southwest, and southern Florida. It wanders north. D. eresimus, The Soldier, is resident in south Florida, and is a stray to south Texas and the southwest.
Habitat
Open areas with hostplants, flowers.
Food
Adults take nectar.
Life Cycle
Larvae feed on milkweed, Asclepias.
Print References
Scott, pp. 228-232 (1)
Internet References
Danaus. Wikipedia
Works Cited
1.The Butterflies of North America: A Natural History and Field Guide
James A. Scott. 1992. Stanford University Press.