Monarch butterfies of the Danaidae family in Europe

In Europe the Monarch is one of only two species recorded of the large, but mainly tropical, Danaidae butterfly family. The other being The Plain Tiger also known as the African Monarch.

Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

The Monarch Butterfly is perhaps the most well known butterfly in the world due to its epic migration in huge numbers from its wintering quarters in Central America as far north as Canada.

The Monarch is mostly recorded as a sparadic migrant in small numbers to Europe, possibly from the resident populations in the Canary Islands. Although, small resident populations do occur in Southern Spain, in the province of Malaga. The lack of the Monarch butterflies larval foodplant, a species of the Milkweed family Asclepiadaceae, in many parts of Europe is considered one of the main reasons this magnificent butterfly may never expand its range unfortunately.

The photographs of Monarch butterflies shown were taken by Paul Browning in Spain.

Plain Tiger Butterfly (Danaus chrysippus)

The Plain Tiger butterfly, also known as the African Monarch, is the only other member of the Danaidae butterfly family recorded in Europe.

The Plain Tiger is not resident in Europe and recorded only in small numbers as a migrant to south coastal Mediterranean regions. The closest resident populations to Europe are in North Africa and parts of the Canary Islands.

The photograph shown was taken in South Africa.

Links to Other European Butterfly Galleries

Links to Other Butterfly Galleries