Danaus gilippus, Queen
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Adult male and female in flight
Description: 37-43 mm. Dark brown with small white spots on forewings and a thick black outer margin on both wings. Males have a black spot on hindwing. Ventrally, the hindwing has thick black veination. Danaus eresimus is similar but lighter in color with a lighter colored band on the ventral hindwing that differentiates it from Danaus gilippus.
Habitat and Distribution: South Florida, Central and South America. It has been found in most of the Keys. It frequents swamps and salt marches where host plant grows.
Host Plant: White vine (Sarcostemma clausum) and milkweeds (Asclepias sps.)
Natural History: This species is abundant in the right habitat on the Florida mainland but is rare in the Keys. It is likely a temporary colonizer.
Final instar larva
Adult male and female in courtship