The Habitat of Monarch Butterflies

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The monarch butterfly is one of the most well-known migratory butterflies in the United States. It has has orange-brown wings with black veins and borders.

Geography

  • The monarch butterfly can be found in the continental United States as well as in Hawaii. It can also be seen in Mexico and even lives in parts of Australia.

Habitat

  • Monarch butterflies thrive in fields or meadows in which their food source, milkweed, is located. Monarchs ingest milkweed in the larval, or caterpillar, stage.

Migration

  • During summer, monarchs can be found in the New England and the Great Lakes area of North America. In winter, monarchs migrate to Southern California as well as central Mexico.

Nonmigratory Monarchs

  • While the vast majority of monarchs are known to migrate, a few populations live in California, Texas and Florida and do not appear to migrate out of those states.

Monarchs in Australia

  • Monarch butterflies also became an established species in Australia in the late 1800s when their primary food source, milkweed, began to appear.

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