Friday, 04 March 2016 16:44

Gran Canaria's Biggest Butterfly Is One Of The Worlds Great Migrants

The Monarch butterfly is native to Gran Canaria The Monarch butterfly is native to Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria's biggest butterfly, the Monarch, is from the USA but colonised the Canary Islands by flying across the Atlantic Ocean and is now a resident.

Also known as the wanderer, the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is famous for its long migration between Mexico, the US and Canada. They are strong enough to fly across the Atlantic Ocean have been found all over the world.

Monarchs have orange and black wings up to 12 centimetres across and are much bigger than any other Canarian butterfly (except the rare African monarch).

In the Canary Islands, Monarchs are permanent inhabitants rather than migrants; Their caterpillars, which eat milkweed plants in the US, feed off an endemic Canarian succulent called Ceropegia. 

Monarchs are the only American species that has colonised the Canary Islands naturally.

Monarchs are common in Gran Canaria parks and gardens and are attracted to colourful flowers. Their poisonous caterpillars are covered in yellow, black and white stripes. 

Alex says: Monarch butterflies are rare migrants in Europe and most of the ones that make it are though to come from the Canary Islands rather than from America.

Published in Alternative Tourism

Join the Gran Canaria Info newsletter list




Follow us on Facebook

Tip of the day

  • Tip Of The Day: Parque del Sur in Maspalomas Campo Internacional
    Tip Of The Day: Parque del Sur in Maspalomas Campo Internacional

    The vast Parque del Sur urban park in Maspalomas Campo Internacional is a huge green space perfect for walking and jogging.

    Start from: Get directions Show Street View

Who's Online

We have 4971 guests and no members online

Login / Register

Take this website to the max, login or create an account now! By clicking on any Social Media platform logo, you can login with just one click.