Butterflies – Plain Tiger – Danaus chrysippus
The above butterfly was photographed at the Butterfly Conservatory in Niagara Falls, Ontario in 2009.
Widespread and common across its range of Southeast Asia, India and Africa, the Plain Tiger belongs to the same sub-family (Danainae) of the brush-footed butterfly family (Nymphalidae) as the Monarch and Queen butterflies common in North America and the Rice Paper butterflies found in South East Asia. What these butterflies have in common is that their caterpillars feed on members of the Milkweed family of plants and incorporate poisonous alkaloids from the milkweed sp. into their tissues thus making them unpalatable to possible predators.
At about 7cm, the Plain Tiger is somewhat smaller than the North American Monarch but its similarity in appearance is responsible for its other common name, African Monarch.