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Monarch (Danaus plexippus)

On this page, we have made available all the information we have for this species

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Picture of Monarch
© Eddie John

The Monarch, our largest butterfly, is a rare and sporadic migrant to Britain and Ireland. The majority of sightings are in the south-west of Britain. Although the butterfly now breeds in the Canary Isles and in a very restricted area in Spain, these migrants almost certainly originate from North America, as their arrival to our shores usually corresponds with major migrations there coinciding with favourable weather conditions that bring them across the Atlantic. (For further details on this species see

Family : Nymphalidae

Status : Insufficient information

Status details : Insufficient information

Log collated index plot

blank LCI plot - no data available

This chart shows the index of abundance (LCI = Log Collated Index) over time. It shows fluctuations in populations from year to year, and is scaled so that the average index over the whole series is equal to 2 (horizontal line). For greater detail about how this index is derived, click on the green question mark above.

Trend description :
With only one record of this species on a transect since 1976 there is insufficant data to calculate abundance trends.

This map shows the distribution between 1995 and 2016. Data is derived from the Butterflies for the New Millenium dataset via the NBN Gateway

Phenology plot
Species Phenology Plot

Phenology plot

This chart shows the average number of butterflies seen on transects between Arpil and October across all sites (fitted values from a Generalised Additive Model). The blue line gives average counts over the full BMS series (1976 to date) and the red line gives the average for the last year.

blank abundance map - no data available


This map shows symbols for the mean abundance at transect sites, with the colour of the symbol reflecting the level of abundance. Means are over all years. Grey background squares are the occupied cells as shown by the Butterflies for the New Millenium over the previous ten year period.


In total, Monarch has been recorded from 0 transects in the Butterfly Monitoring Scheme. Of these, annual indices of abundance have been calculated from 0 sites, with an average index of 0 individuals per site.

For 0 of these sites, Monarch has been recorded well enough to calculate annual indices of abundance in more years, allowing trends to be calculated.

In 2006, 1 individuals were recorded from 1 sites, producing annual indices at 0 of these.

Links to counts


The UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme is organized and funded by Butterfly Conservation (BC), the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC). The UKBMS is indebted to all volunteers who contribute data to the scheme.