Danaus chrysippus

Plain Tiger


by Matt Rowlings

copyright © 2003-2024

Show butterflies of: EU US
Photo: chrysippus70.jpg

Rhodes, Greece October 2018

Photo: chrysippus14.jpg

Crete, Greece, October 2017

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: chrysippus41.jpg

Crete, Greece, October 2017

Photo: chrysippus63.jpgPhoto: chrysippus15.jpgPhoto: chrysippus39.jpg

Crete, Greece, June 2018

Photo: chrysippus83.jpgPhoto: chrysippus84.jpg

Tenerife, Spain, August 2021

Photo: chrysippus51.jpgPhoto: chrysippus52.jpg

Crete, Greece, October 2017

Photo: chrysippus69.jpg

Rhodes, Greece October 2018

Photo: chrysippus62.jpg

Crete, Greece, June 2018

Photo: chrysippus72.jpgPhoto: chrysippus73.jpgPhoto: chrysippus85.jpg

Malaga, Spain, October 2021

Photo: chrysippus74.jpgPhoto: chrysippus75.jpgPhoto: chrysippus79.jpg

La Gomera, Spain, August 2021

Photo: chrysippus77.jpgPhoto: chrysippus76.jpgPhoto: chrysippus81.jpg

La Gomera, Spain, August 2021

Photo: chrysippus80.jpgPhoto: chrysippus82.jpg

La Gomera, Spain, August 2021

Photo: chrysippus67.jpg

Crete, Greece, June 2018

Larval food plant in flower, stranglewort, Cynanchum acutum.