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Queen Butterfly

The Queen butterfly (Danaus gilippus) is just slightly smaller than the Monarch. The Queen is an orange-brown color with white spots and black borders. It has similar colorations to the Soldier and Viceroy butterflies.

Size: 3.0" - 3.5"

Host plants: milkweed species
Nectar plants: Butterfly Bush, Lantana, Zinnia

Queen Butterfly Life Cycle Stages and Times

Stage Typical Duration
Egg stage 4 to 6 days
Caterpillar (larval) stage 2 to 3 weeks
Chrysalis (pupal) stage 5 to 15 days (except for overwintering pupae)
Adult butterfly stage 1 to 3 months


Queen Butterfly ... dorsal view
Queen Butterfly ... wings open

Queen Butterfly feeding on milkweed in East Texas - ventral view
Queen Butterfly feeding on milkweed


Queen Butterfly at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, Arizona (Staff photo)
Queen Butterfly at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, Arizona

Queen Butterfly Caterpillar near Tyler, Texas in the fall of 2018 ... it has similar coloration to a Monarch caterpilar, but has three sets of fleshy filaments, one on each end, and one towards the middle
Queen Caterpillar

Queen Butterfly caterpillar on Milkweed in East Texas
Queen Caterpillar



Is It a Queen, Monarch or Black Swallowtail Caterpillar?

The caterpillars of the Queen, Monarch and Black Swallowtail all feature white, yellow and black markings. But which one are you seeing? Check the images below for the differences between the three caterpillars.

Comparison between the Monarch, Queen and Black Swallowtail caterpillarsButterflies at Home

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