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Queen Danaus gilippus

The Queen butterfly is one of the Milkweed butterflies.  The females lay their eggs on herbs and vines in the Milkweed family and the resultant caterpillars feed on the flowers, leaves and stems of these plants.  These butterflies are found in the southern part of the United States and southward through Central America and the northern part of South America.  They are found throughout all of Florida.  They can be observed in open habitats such as grasslands, sandhills, wet prairies, roadsides, utility corridors and weedlots.

These butterflies are medium to large in size, having a wingspan of 3-3.4 inches.  They are reddish brown in color with black borders containing small white spots.  There are larger white spots near the tip and outer margin of the forewings.  The veins on the underside of the hindwings are outlined in black and gray.  Adult males have black scent glands near the middle of the hindwings on the upper side.

The photos on this page were taken in the following Florida counties: Brevard, Charlotte, Hendry, Manatee, and Sarasota.