Species Details

Details of Danaus chrysippus will be displayed below

Danaus chrysippus   

Common Name: Plain tiger or African monarch
Scientific Name: Danaus chrysippus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Local Name: Ruvaa kokaa
Dhivehi Name: ރުވާކޮކަާ
Animalia  (Kingdom)
Arthropoda  (Plylum)
Insecta  (Class)
Lepidoptera  (Order)
Nymphalidae  (Family)
Danaus   (Genus)

Danaus chrysippus's description

This beautifully bright butterfly has captivated humankind’s attention since it was first depicted in an Egyptian tomb 3,500 years ago, making it the first ever butterfly to be recorded in history. Now it is known as a medium-sized butterfly widespread in Asia and Africa. Its striking tawny-orange colouration serves as a warning to predators that this species is distasteful, which ultimately deters predators from attacking. Framing the startlingly orange hues is a bold black border interlaced with white specks. This butterfly is less likely to thrive in jungle-like conditions and is most often found in drier, wide-open areas. The plain tiger is believed to be one of the first butterflies depicted in art. A 3500-year-old Egytion fresco in Luxor features the oldest known illustration of this species.

Danaus chrysippus's facts

  • Males are smaller than the females
  • encompasses three main subspecies
  • It is normally found in wide open areas like mountains deserts etc.
  • Adult plain tiger butterflies obtain nectar from various flowering plants.
  • Females lay eggs singly on the underside of the leaves of a larval food plant.
  • It is comfortable at altitudes ranging from sea level to around 1,500 metres.

Danaus chrysippus's Behavior & Ecology

The butterflies are usually encountered singly or in two's and three's. They have a slow undulating flight, with fairly shallow wing beats.

Both sexes patrol flowery areas, alighting periodically to take nectar, or to imbibe pyrrolizidine alkaloids from the leaves and stems.

In overcast weather, and when roosting overnight, the butterflies hang suspended from grass stems or dry twigs, often in clusters of up to half a dozen individuals.

The plain tiger prefers Arid , open areas, and is found in a variety of habitats including deserts, mountains, deciduous forests, and human-tended gardens in cities and parks. It is comfortable at altitudes ranging from sea level to around 1,500 m (5,000 ft).

Danaus chrysippus's Feeding

Adult plain tiger butterflies obtain nectar from various flowering plants. The particular plants available vary depending on the geographic range of the butterfly population and the season, as certain plants do not flower throughout the entire year.At the stage of catapillar it feeds on leaves.

Danaus chrysippus's Reproduction

The egg of the plain tiger is about 1.7 mm long and 0.5 mm across. When first laid it is white, but gradually turns brown over time. The egg is ridged and dome-shaped. Depending on temperature, the egg is typically hatched in 3–5 days.

The larvae of D. chrysippus proceeds through five instars stages. The first instar is about 4 mm long and its body is white while the head is black. The second instar is about 8 mm long and its body is primarily gray with yellow and black horizontal stripes. This coloration remains for the final three instar stages. The third instar is about 14 mm long, the fourth about 25 mm long, and the fifth about 36 mm long. Depending on temperature, the larval stage can last from 12–20 days.

Before pupation, the caterpillar will become motionless and cease feeding. Its color shifts slightly from gray to brown, and it may lose a small amount of body mass. The prepupal stage lasts 1–3 days depending on temperature. The pupal stage lasts 9–15 days depending on temperature, and the pupa changes color over this period from a pale green to dark brown. Pupae are about 17 mm tall and 8 mm wide.

Male and female D. chrysippus butterflies look very similar and are also similar in size. Adult butterflies typically have a wingspan of 75 mm. The bodies of adult plain tigers are about 23 mm long, and their antennae are about 12 mm long. Depending on temperature, males live about 10–15 days and females live about 7–12 days.

Danaus chrysippus's Relationship with Humans

It can be found in human tended gardens in cities and parks.