Monarch butterfly

Monarch butterfly

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This image is part of the feature Animal Record Breakers

Credit: LOUISE MURRAY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus). This butterfly is native to the Americas, Australia and New Zealand. It has spread from this range and is also found in the Canary Islands and 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. Photographed at the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary, Sierra Chincua, Michoacan, Mexico.

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Keywords: animal, biological, biology, butterfly, colour, colouration, danaus plexippus, distasteful, dots, entomology, fauna, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, lepidopteran, markings, mexico, michoacan, monarch butterfly, monarch butterfly sanctuary, nature, north america, north american, pattern, plant, poisonous, resting, roosting, scales, sierra chincua, spots, warning colours, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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