Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - DANAINAE
Tribe - DANAINI
subtribe - DANAINA
Danaus eresimus montezuma Tatama NP,
genus Danaus comprises of 12 species, distributed variously across
southern Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, Australia and the Americas.
The most widely distributed and well known species is the Monarch
Danaus plexippus - the most famous migrant in the butterfly world.
Its powers of migration are so great that it has been able to spread
to across the Americas from Canada to Peru; across the Atlantic to
Europe, Africa and India; and across the Pacific to Australia, New
Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
Danaus eresimus is distributed from Texas
and Florida to Peru and Brazil. There are 9 subspecies.
species is mainly associated with disturbed areas of mid-elevation
To be completed.
butterflies have a powerful but fluttering flight, interspersed with
periods of soaring and gliding in wide circles as they fly from one
clump of flowers to another. They settle frequently to nectar at
Eupatorium, Senecio and other
bodies of all Danaines contain cardenolides derived from the larval
foodplants. Any bird eating one is likely to be affected by
vomiting, muscular spasms and visual disturbance. Birds are able to
learn and remember the patterns and colours of toxic butterflies, so
after suffering the unpleasant experience of eating one Monarch they
are less likely to attack another. Consequently many other species (
Mullerian mimics ) have evolved similar patterns and colouration
which help them evade predation. These mimics include a high number
of 'tiger complex' orange and black Ithomiines as well as other
Danaines. Additionally numerous palatable species ( Batesian mimics
) have evolved similar colours and markings which fool birds into
believing that they are inedible.