The monarch butterfly is known by scientists as Danaus plexippus, which in Greek means “sleepy transformation.” The name evokes the species’ ability to hibernate and metamorphize.


Monarch butterflies have deep, orange-colored wings with black margins. The wings also have two rows of orange and/or white spots and veins that are outlined in black. They have two sets of wings and a wingspan of three to four inches (7 to 10 centimeters).


Scientific Classification

  • Common Name – Monarch Butterfly
  • Kingdom – Animalia
  • Phylum – Arthropoda
  • Class – Insecta
  • Order – Lepidoptera
  • Family – Danaidae
  • Genus Species – Danaus plexippus