Monarch butterfly Danaus plexippus, photographed by Kenneth Harrelson.

Belongs within: Danaini.

Danaus is a diverse genus of butterflies whose larvae feed on species of milkweed. Adults are large and often have bright orange coloration on the wings (Braby 2000). Well known species include the monarch D. plexippus, originally a native of North America that has expanded its range around the Pacific in the last century.

Characters (from Braby 2000): Hind wing with humeral vein arising at junction of Sc+R1 and Rs; in male with prominent raised patch of sex-scales near vein CuA2. Male genitalia with valva bearing annularly corrugated process, eighth sternite with posterior projections.

<==Danaus Kluk 1802B00 [=DanaidaB66a, DanaisB66a]
|--D. abigar (Eschscholtz 1821) [=Idea abigar]B66c
|--D. affinis (Fabricius 1775)B12 [=Papilio affinisB66a; incl. D. cecilia Bougainville 1837B66a]
| |--D. a. affinisB00
| |--D. a. ferruginea (Butler 1876)B00
| `--D. a. gelanor (Waterhouse & Lyell 1914) [=D. philene gelanor]B00
|--D. aglea (Cramer 1782) [=Papilio aglea]B66a
|--D. agleoidesB66a
|--D. albata (Zinken-Sommer 1831) [=Euploea albata, D. ablata (l. c.)]B66a
|--D. alcippus (Cramer 1777)B66a (see below for synonymy)
|--D. anacardii (Linnaeus 1758) [=Papilio (Danaus) anacardii]L58
|--D. anapis Felder 1861B66a
|--D. archippus (Fabricius 1793)FS54, B66a [=Papilio archippusB66a, Anosia archippusB66a]
|--D. aremaB66a
|--D. arsalte (Linnaeus 1758) [=Papilio (Danaus) arsalte]L58
|--D. artenice (Cramer 1782) [=Papilio artenice, Euploea artenice]B66a
|--D. australisB66a
|--D. azemaB66a
|--D. berenice (Cramer 1779) [=Papilio berenice, Anosia berenice]B66a
| |--D. b. bereniceB66a
| |--D. b. strigosa Bates 1864B66a
| `--D. b. thersippus Bates 1863B66a
|--D. brassicae (Linnaeus 1758) [=Papilio (Danaus) brassicae]L58
|--D. cardamines (Linnaeus 1758) [=Papilio (Danaus) cardamines]L58
|--D. cassiae (Linnaeus 1758) [=Papilio (Danaus) cassiae]L58
|--D. ceylanica Felder 1863B66c
|--D. chionippe [=Euploea chionippe]B66b
|--D. chloris Felder 1861B66c [incl. Danais salvini Butler 1866B66c, B66b]
|--D. choaspes Butler 1866 [=Danais choaspes]B66a
|--D. chrysippus (Linnaeus 1758)B00 [=Papilio chrysippusB66a, Euploea chrysippusB66a; incl. P. aegyptiusB66a]
| |--D. c. chrysippusB00
| `--D. c. cratippus (Felder 1860)B00
|--D. cleona (Cramer 1782) [=Papilio cleona]B66a
|--D. cleophile Godart 1819B66a
|--D. cleothera Godart 1819B66a
|--D. conspicua Butler 1866 [=Danais conspicua]B66a
|--D. crataegi (Linnaeus 1758) [=Papilio (Danaus) crataegi]L58
|--D. crocea Butler 1866 [=Danais crocea]B66a
|--D. damocles (Fabricius 1793) [=Papilio damocles, Euploea damocles]B66a
|--D. damone (Linnaeus 1758) [=Papilio (Danaus) damone]L58
|--D. daos (Boisduval 1836) [=Idea daos, Hestia daos, Ideopsis daos; incl. H. eudora Gray 1846]B66a
| |--D. d. daosB66a
| `--D. d. diardi (Van der Hoeven 1860) [=Idea diardi]B66a
|--D. daplidice (Linnaeus 1758) [=Papilio (Danaus) daplidice]L58
|--D. daulisB66a
|--D. echeria (Stoll 1790) [=Papilio echeria, Amauris echeria, Euploea echeria; incl. Danais vaillantiana Godart 1819]B66a
|--D. egialea (Cramer 1777) [=Papilio egialea, Amauris egialea]B66a
|--D. enceladus (Linnaeus 1758) [=Papilio (Danaus) enceladus]L58
|--D. eresimus (Cramer 1777) [=Papilio eresimus, Anosia eresima]B66a
|--D. erippus (Cramer 1775)B66a (see below for synonymy)
|--D. euippe (Linnaeus 1758) [=Papilio (Danaus) euippe]L58
|--D. fulgurata Butler 1866 [=Danais fulgurata]B66a
|--D. fumata Butler 1866 [=Danais fumata]B66a
|--D. gaura (Horsfield 1829) [=Idea gaura, Hestia gaura, Ideopsis gaura]B66a
|--D. genutia (Cramer 1779)B00 [=Papilio genutiaB66a]
| |--D. g. genutiaB12
| |--D. g. alexis (Waterhouse & Lyell 1914)B12
| |--D. g. intensusB00
| |--D. g. laratensisB00
| `--D. g. partitaB00
|--D. gilippus (Cramer 1775) (see below for synonymy)B66a
| |--D. g. gilippusPP72
| `--D. g. strigosusPP72
|--D. glaucippe (Linnaeus 1758) [=Papilio (Danaus) glaucippe]L58
|--D. gloriola Butler 1866 [=Danais gloriola]B66a
|--D. grammica Boisduval 1836B66a
|--D. hecabe (Linnaeus 1758) [=Papilio (Danaus) hecabe]L58
|--D. hecate Butler 1866 [=Danais hecate]B66a
|--D. hermippus Felder in Butler 1866B66b
|--D. hyale (Linnaeus 1758) [=Papilio (Danaus) hyale]L58
|--D. hyparete (Linnaeus 1758) [=Papilio (Danaus) hyparete]L58
|--D. hyperantus (Linnaeus 1758) [=Papilio (Danaus) hyperantus]L58
|--D. inuncta Butler 1865B66a
|--D. ismare (Cramer 1780)B66a [=Papilio ismareB66a, Hestia ismareB66a; incl. Danais ismareola Butler 1866B66b, B66a]
|--D. jamaicensis Bates 1864-1865B66c, B66a [=D. berenice var. jamaicensisB66a, D. gilippus jamaicensisB66a]
|--D. juventa (Cramer 1779) [=Papilio juventa, Hestia juventa]B66c
|--D. leonora Butler 1866 [=Danais leonora]B66a
|--D. leopardus Butler 1866 [=Danais leopardus]B66a
|--D. limniacae (Cramer 1775) [=Papilio limniacae]B66a
|--D. lixaB66a
|--D. lotis (Cramer 1780) [=Papilio lotis; incl. D. edmondi Bougainville 1837, Hestia thoe Hübner 1816]B66a
|--D. lutescens Butler 1866B66b
|--D. luzonensis Felder 1863B66a
|--D. manuja (Eschscholtz 1821) [=Idea manuja]B66c
|--D. meganira Godart 1819B66a
|--D. melaneus (Cramer 1775) [=Papilio melaneus]B66a
|--D. melanippus (Cramer 1777) (see below for synonymy)B66a
|--D. melissa (Cramer 1782) [=Papilio melissa]B66a
|--D. mineus (Linnaeus 1758) [=Papilio (Danaus) mineus]L58
|--D. mitylene Felder 1860B66c [incl. Danais pullata Butler 1866B66c, B66a]
|--D. napi (Linnaeus 1758) [=Papilio (Danaus) napi]L58
|--D. nerippeB66a
|--D. nesippus Felder 1863B66c
|--D. niavius (Linnaeus 1767) [=Papilio niavius, Amauris niavius, Euploea niavius]B66a
|--D. nubila Butler 1866B66b
|--D. obrinus (Linnaeus 1758) [=Papilio (Danaus) obrinus]L58
|--D. ochleaB66b
|--D. pamphilus (Linnaeus 1758) [=Papilio (Danaus) pamphilus]L58
|--D. perius (Linnaeus 1758) [=Papilio (Danaus) perius]L58
|--D. petilia (Stoll 1790)B12 [=Papilio petiliaB66a, D. chrysippus petiliaB00]
|--D. phaedon (Fabricius 1793) [=Papilio phaedon, Euploea phaedon]B66a
|--D. philene (Cramer 1782) [=Papilio philene, Euploea philene]B66a
|--D. philomela (Zinken-Sommer 1831)B66c, B66a [=Euploea philomelaB66a]
|--D. phyle Felder 1863B66a [incl. Danais erebus Butler 1866B66c, B66a]
|--D. plexaure Godart 1819B66a
|--D. plexippus (Linnaeus 1758)B12 [=Papilio plexippusB66a, Euploea plexippusB66a]
|--D. pumila Boisduval 1859B66c [incl. Danais mariana Butler 1865B66c, B66a]
|--D. purpurata Butler 1866 [=Danais purpurata]B66a
|--D. pyranthe (Linnaeus 1758) [=Papilio (Danaus) pyranthe]L58
|--D. rapae (Linnaeus 1758) [=Papilio (Danaus) rapae]L58
|--D. rhamni (Linnaeus 1758) [=Papilio (Danaus) rhamni]L58
|--D. schenkiiB66a
|--D. sennae (Linnaeus 1758) [=Papilio (Danaus) sennae]L58
|--D. similis (Linnaeus 1758)B66a (see below for synonymy)
|--D. sinapis (Linnaeus 1758) [=Papilio (Danaus) sinapis]L58
|--D. sobrina Boisd. 1832B66a
|--D. sophorae (Linnaeus 1758) [=Papilio (Danaus) sophorae]L58
|--D. trite (Linnaeus 1758) [=Papilio (Danaus) trite]L58
|--D. tytia (Gray 1846) [=Euploea tytia, D. tita]B66a
|--D. verissimus (Cramer 1772) [=Anosia verissimus]FS54
|--D. vitrea [incl. D. oenopia Felder 1859]B66a
|--D. vitrina Felder 1861B66a [incl. Danais oenone Butler 1865B66c, B66a]
|--D. xanthippusB66b
`--D. xanthus (Linnaeus 1758) [=Papilio (Danaus) xanthus]L58

Danaus alcippus (Cramer 1777)B66a [=Papilio alcippusB66a, Euploea alcippusB66a; incl. Danaus chrysippus dorippus var. alcippoidesA73, E. dorippus Klug 1829B66a, D. chrysippus dorippusA73]

Danaus erippus (Cramer 1775)B66a [=Papilio erippusB66a, Anosia erippeB66a; incl. A. megalippe Hübn. 1806-1827B66a, Idea plexippus Eschscholtz 1821 non Papilio plexippus Linnaeus 1767B66c]

Danaus gilippus (Cramer 1775) [=Anosia gilippus; incl. Limnas ferruginea vincetoxici Hübner 1806-1827, Anosia vincetoxici]B66a

Danaus melanippus (Cramer 1777) [=Papilio melanippus; incl. P. hegesippus Cramer 1779, Danais hegesippus, Euploea hegesippus]B66a

Danaus similis (Linnaeus 1758)B66a [=Papilio (Nymphalis) similisB66a, L58; incl. P. aventina Cramer 1775B66a, Danais aventinaB66a, Danais similis var. chinensis Felder 1863B66c]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A73] Ashton, R. 1973. Butterflies of New Delhi (Papilionoidea). Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 69 (3): 502–509.

[B00] Braby, M. F. 2000. Butterflies of Australia: their identification, biology and distribution vol. 2. CSIRO Publishing: Collingwood (Victoria).

[B12] Braby, M. F. 2012. The butterflies of El Questro Wilderness Park, with remarks on the taxonomy of the Kimberley fauna, Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 27 (2): 161–175.

[B66a] Butler, A. G. 1866a. Monograph of the diurnal Lepidoptera belonging to the genus Danais, being a revision of the insects of that genus, with descriptions of new species in the National Collection. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 43–59.

[B66b] Butler, A. G. 1866b. Supplement to a monograph of the genus Danais, founded on specimens in the collection of Mr. Osbert Salvin. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 171–175.

[B66c] Butler, A. G. 1866c. Corrections and addenda to certain papers on Lepidoptera published during the years 1865–66; with additional notes on some of the species described. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 451–458.

[FS54] Franz, E., & H. Schröder. 1954. Tagfalter (Lep. Rhopalocera) aus El Salvador. Senckenbergiana Biologica 35: 75–87.

[L58] Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per Regna Tria Naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis revised 10th ed. vol. 1. Laurentii Salvii: Holmiae.

[PP72] Parkin, P., D. T. Parkin, A. W. Ewing & H. A. Ford. 1972. A report on the arthropods collected by the Edinburgh University Galapagos Islands expedition, 1968. Pan-Pacific Entomologist 48 (2): 100–107.

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