Monarch butterfly

Monarch butterfly

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Caption: Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) just after emerging from its pupa (centre left). After emerging it rests while its wings harden. It is native to the Americas, Australia and New Zealand. It has spread from this range, though, and is now being found in the Canary Islands and even western Europe. Its striking black, white and orange colouration serves to warn predators (mainly birds) that it is poisonous. It gains its poison from milkweed, a plant that is the sole food source for its caterpillars.

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Keywords: adult, animal, biological, biology, butterfly, colour, colouration, danaus plexippus, distasteful, drying, entomology, fauna, insect, invertebrate, invertebrates, lepidopteran, metamorphosis, monarch butterfly, nature, poisonous, pupa, stem, warning colours, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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