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Monarch Butterfly

Idaho State Insect

Monarch butterfly; photo by David Levinson (Life of David) on Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution / share alike).

Official State Insect of Idaho

The monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) was designated the official state insect of Idaho in1992, thanks to the efforts of 4th grade students at Boise's Cole Elementary School (with help from their teacher). Seven states have adopted the iconic monarch butterfly as an insect symbol (WV, VT, TX, MN, IL, ID, AL) All State Insects

Both the caterpillar and adult monarch butterfly are brilliant in color as a warning to predators (monarchs ingest toxins from the milkweed plant which are poisonous). Monarch butterflies migrate each year between 1,200 and 2,800 miles (or more) from the United States and Canada to central Mexican forests. This epic journey becomes more dangerous and less successful for many butterflies each year because of deforestation, increased commercial development, agricultural expansion, forest fires, and other threats to their migratory paths.