Danaus chrysippus

Plain Tiger

euroButterflies

by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2016

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Photo: chrysippus

(c) Peter Rowlings Taroudannt, Morocco, May 1998

Photo: chrysippus

Cadiz, Spain, October 2014

Larval food plant Gomphocarpus fruticosus.

Field notes and information

Clearly a relative of the well known monarch, D. plexippus, this species is slightly smaller. Rather more widespread but very scarce in coastal areas of the Mediterranean from Spain to Greece. It has a world wide distribution, I've found it in Europe, Africa, India, parts of Thailand and also tropical east coast of Australia. This must make it one of the most widespread species in the world!

Identification & Similar species: There is almost no variation recorded across its vast worldwide range. There are exceptions in a few places such as east Africa where additional forms are present and appear to be controlled by Mendelian genetics - why the effect is localised is not clear.

Distribution & Flight: Mediterranean coasts from Spain, where it is most frequent, to Greece, but absent from large parts of the cost. North Africa in Morocco to Tunisia where it can be found well inland. Seemingly greatly reduced in the Canary Islands now. Flies at all times of the year, with a period of relative inactivity in winter.

Habitat & Behaviour: A powerful species, roaming widely. Frequents hot dry places.

Photo: chrysippus

Cadiz, Spain, October 2014

Larval food plant Gomphocarpus fruticosus.

Photo: chrysippusPhoto: chrysippus

Cadiz, Spain, October 2014

A mix of food plants for D. plexippus and D. chrysippus.

Photo: chrysippusPhoto: chrysippus

Cadiz, Spain, October 2014

Larval food plant Gomphocarpus fruticosus.