Monarch Butterfly

West Virginia State Butterfly


Male monarch butterfly

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

Official State Butterfly of West Virginia

West Virginia designated the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) as the official state butterfly in 1995 (seven states have recognized the monarch butterfly as a state symbol). West Virginia also adopted an official state insect in 2002 (the honeybee). All State Insects

Monarch Butterfly Facts

Both the monarch caterpillar and adult butterfly are brilliant in color as a warning to predators (the monarch ingests toxins from the milkweed plant which are poisonous). Monarch butterflies were once a common sight in the summer months; soaring and gliding across the USA. Monarchs make an incredible 2,500-mile migration each year to their nesting grounds in Mexico and southern California.

Monarch butterflies are threatened and being considered for protection under The U.S. Endangered Species Act (monarch populations have fallen by possibly 90 percent during the last two decades).

West Virginia Monarch Butterfly Day

September 12 was proclaimed "Monarch Butterfly Day" during West Virginia's 2004 legislative session to "commemorate and preserve the butterfly of the state, which was declared in March 1995 by Senate Concurrent Resolution 11."

House Concurrent Resolution No. 28

Requesting that September 12th of every year be declared as West Virginia Monarch Butterfly Day.

WHEREAS, The Monarch Butterfly, scientifically known as Danaus plexippus and nicknamed the "milkweed butterfly", is the state butterfly; and

WHEREAS, The Monarch Butterfly has declined in population in recent years; and

WHEREAS, September 12, an established school day, will facilitate the study of the Monarch Butterfly migration through West Virginia; and

WHEREAS, Monarch butterflies migrate through West Virginia traveling north in July and migrate south in September and October; and

WHEREAS, September 12 offers warm weather, facilitating field trips to observe the Monarch on the milkweed; and

WHEREAS, September 12 is close to the day known as "Grandparents Day" which allows families to celebrate worthwhile family activities in celebration of grandparents and Monarch Butterflies; and

WHEREAS, The day to be set aside as West Virginia Monarch Butterfly Day would not require an absence from employment obligations as a legal observed holiday and not require funding to establish this observance on September 12; and

WHEREAS, The Monarch Butterfly being our state butterfly reflects our acknowledgment of the Monarch butterfly; therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That September 12th of every year beginning with 2004 be set aside for the Monarch Butterfly to be acknowledged, pondered, studied, explored, conserved and celebrated.

West Virginia


Monarch caterpillar © Peter Wirtz - Personal Web Site:

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).

Monarch butterfly on milkweed


Life Cycle of the Monarch Butterfly