JoinDonateMy Account

Monarch

Danaus plexippus

Kakahu or Kahuku

This is probably the best-known butterfly in New Zealand, originally from North America and first recorded here in the mid-1800s. It is considered a native because it flew/blew to NZ.

Biostatus
Native ( flew/blew from N. America)
Host Plant
Milkweed, e.g. swan plant (Gomphocarpus fruticosus), giant swan plant (G. physocarpus), and tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica)
Egg
Creamy and ridged, usually on underside of new growth.Takes about five days to hatch.
Larva
Yellow/black/white stripes, five instars. Average of 14 days before pupation.
Pupa
Bright green. About ten days, depending on temperature/season, before it ecloses.
Adult/Imago
Orange, black and white. Male has two scent glands on hindwings, and thinner veins than female.
Wingspan
About 100 mm.
Overwinters
As adults in conifer trees.
Range
Naturally as far south as 45 degrees.
photo by Sally Phillips
Photo by Zac Warren
Photo by Sally Phillips

Sign up for our free e-news

Be kept posted about our special offers, events and news weekly. Better yet, become a financial member of the MBNZT

magnifiercrossmenuchevron-left