Monarch Butterfly

Minnesota State Butterfly


Monarch buttterfly

Monarch buttterfly; photo by Dave Bledsoe on Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution / share alike).

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Official State Butterfly of Minnesota

Minnesota adopted the lovely monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) as the official state butterfly in 2000. The monarch was promoted by a fourth-grade class at Anderson Elementary School in Mahtomedi, MN. All State Insects

Monarch caterpillars appear to feed exclusively on milkweed, which grows throughout Minnesota. Both caterpillar and butterfly are brilliant in color as a warning because the toxins ingested from the milkweed plant are poisonous to predators. The male butterfly has small black dots on its lower wings, females do not.

Quote from Representative Harry Mares (who co-sponsored the bill with  Senator Chuck Wiger); "A lot of people have an early introduction to the magical world of nature through the monarch, and as we get older it becomes a thread that takes us through science to beauty and aesthetics."​



Monarch butterfly caterpillars photo © Dr. Peter Bryant: Monarch Butterfly (all rights reserved; used by permission).

Monarch butterfly caterpillers

Female monarch butterfly on milkweed © photographer Lynn M. Rosenblatt, author of "Monarch Magic" (Worthy / Ideals) and "Monarch Buddies, Munch-A-Bunch of Milkweed" (Mindstir Media) Monarch Butterfly USA (all rights reserved; used by permission).

Female monarch butterfly on milkweed

Adult male monarch butterfly photo © Jennifer E. Dacey / University of Rhode Island:

Male monarch butterfly


Life Cycle of the Monarch Butterfly