The African Queen Butterfly (Danaus chrysippus) is also known as the Plain Tiger or the African Monarch Butterfly. It is in the Nymphalidae family – the brush-footed butterflies. It is a medium-sized insect.
The African Queen Butterfly has a black body with white spots. Its wings are orange with black and white spotted tips or edges. Its underside is paler orange. Its hind wing (back wing) has three black spots in the center. The wings are bordered in black and outlined with semicircular white spots.
It has a wingspan of about 7-8 centimetres (3 inches).
The African Queen Butterfly is common in Asia, Australia, Africa, and south Pacific islands. It prefers dry open areas in deserts, mountains, forests, and urban gardens.
Female butterflies lay white eggs singly on the underside of leaves. The eggs hatch after 3-5 days, and become caterpillars.
The caterpillar, which is smooth and striped, feeds on plants. The caterpillar stage lasts for 12-20 days.
Caterpillars pupate – they make a chrysalis, which is a casing. Inside the casing, the caterpillar undergoes metamorphosis (changes) for 9-15 days, and it emerges as an adult butterfly.
Adult butterflies live for about 7-15 days.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM