Danaus eresimus

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Soldier
Danaus eresimus eresimus MHNT dos.jpg
Danaus eresimus - MHNT
Danaus eresimus eresimus MHNT ventre.jpg
Ventral view same specimen △
Conservation status

Secure (NatureServe)[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Nymphalidae
Genus: Danaus
Species: D. eresimus
Binomial name
Danaus eresimus
(Cramer, 1777)

The Soldier or Tropical Queen (Danaus eresimus) is a North and South American butterfly in the family Nymphalidae. Their flight is slow and they are reasonably easy to approach, but will fly for some distance if approached too closely.[2]

Description[edit]

The upper side of the wings is dark reddish-brown with the fore wing sometimes having white submarginal spots.[3] The veins are lightly marked with black. Males have a black scent patch on each of the hind wings. The underside of the wings is also dark brown with a postmedian band made up of squarish spots.[2] The Soldier has a wingspan of 2½ to 3½ inches.[4]

Similar species[edit]

Similar species in the Soldier's range include the Monarch (Danaus plexippus) and the Queen (Danaus gilippus).

The Monarch is more orange, has heavier black-lined veins, and the underside of the wings is a pale yellowish color.[2][5]

The Queen has nearly no black marked veins, and has white fore wing submarginal spots on both surfaces of the wings.[5]

Habitat[edit]

The Soldier may be found in a variety of open, subtropical habitats such as citrus groves, weedy water edges where host plants occur, dry fields, etc.[2] and in New Mexico.

Flight[edit]

This butterfly my be encountered from February to December in southern Florida (it is most common in October to December), and from August to January in southern Texas.[2][6]

Life cycle[edit]

Males patrol for females.[2] The eggs are bright orange. The black larva is banded with white and yellow stripes. It has a subdorsal row of yellowish-tan spots. There are six black, fleshy filaments, the first pair near the head, the second on the thorax, and the third at the end of the abdomen.[6] The chrysalis is very similar to that of the Monarch, often indistinguishable. It has 3 or more broods per year.[5]

Host plants[edit]

Here is a list of some host plants used by the Soldier:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Opler, P. A.; A. D. Warren (2002). "Danaus eresimus". NatureServe. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Rick Cech and Guy Tudor (2005). Butterflies of the East Coast. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. ISBN 0-691-09055-6
  3. ^ Butterflies and Moths Additional Soldier Images
  4. ^ Bob Stewart, Priscilla Brodkin and Hank Brodkin (2001). Butterflies of Arizona. West Coast Lady Press. ISBN 0-9663072-1-6
  5. ^ a b c Jim P. Brock and Kenn Kaufman (2003). Butterflies of North America. Houghton Mifflin, New York, NY. ISBN 0-618-15312-8
  6. ^ a b c James A. Scott (1986). The Butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA. ISBN 0-8047-2013-4