Butterfly Icon (9k)
Hi Tanya,

I was thrilled to get your message.  I had no idea that the Monarch
butterfly was in your part of the world.  In all of the books that 
I have looked in, they don't mention the monarch outside of North 
and Central America.  They do mention the Bogong moth as a 
species that migrated in Australia.  

I received a message a while back from someone in Malta who 
spoke of an African Monarch that was seen in his area.

I wonder if all three of these butterflies are related?  
Does your monarch look like this one?

We have a lot of links to monarch information on our website, 
but I haven't found anything on the other sites that mentions 
Australia either.

I'm sorry I couldn't be of more help, but I would like to keep 
trying to figure this one out.  Look at the image of the monarch 
and let me know if it is the same one.  I'm forwarding your 
message to a scientist here in Minnesota to see if she knows 
something more about this.  


Hello Karen, YES!! I believe it is the very same butterfly. I found out that in Australia they call it the Wanderer Butterfly. I wish I had a scanner so that I could send you a copy from a book over here which mentions it. The book is published by Steve Parish Publishing who is a famous photographer over here the ISBN no. is 1-875932-35-6. I have lived in Sydney, Australia since 1979 and cannot honestly say that I have sighted one. However I remember quite vividly collecting the butterflies and caterpillas as a little girl in New Zealand (I am from Auckland originally). I would love to show my daughter a live Monarch. The caterpillars are also wonderful. I could ask my father for more information if you would like - he lives in Auckland and I am sure he would be more than happy to assist you. I emailed a sight in Australia a zoo I believe for assistance without success - there definately is a lack of information about their occurance in Australia. I just remembered my daughter borrowed a book from her school library 'The Life Cycle of the Monarch Butterfly', Ashton Scholastic, By Betty Brownlie 1992. Which mentions its occurance in the Pacific, Australia and New Zealand. I believe it mentioned it originally coming from North America but I wouldn't quote that without first checking my source. I hope I have been of help. For the record my daughter got 20/20 for her assignment. including a poem she wrote: MONARCH BUTTERFLY First an egg, not as big as a peg Second a caterpillar, not even a killer, Third a chrysalis, Just before Christmas, I become a butter, not a plane, not a fly, Just a beautiful Butterfly. By Katrina Kaposi Regard Tanya Kaposi Please advise me if you manage to find out more about its l ocations in Australia I am definately interested myself.
Hello Karen My daughter is very happy that you would like to post her poem on the web. She just reminded me that she actually saw two monarch butterflies about a month ago on a school excursion to 'Long Neck Lagoon' near Sydney. I doubt they would be able to give much information but I will try FOR YOU. Tomorrow I will ask at the school office for their phone number and ring them. Long Neck lagoon is a popular study centre for Sydney School Children to look at and study nature. Activities I believe cater for Primary and High School children. I'll write to you again when I know more. Bye for now. Regards Tanya
Hello Karen I phoned Long Neck Lagoon Field Study Centre today. They weren't much help other than they believed they did get the Wanderer in their area seasonally of course. But they did give me the idea to ring the Australian Museum which I did. Their web site is www.austmus.gov.au In fact there was a Dr Courtney there years ago who did a study and tagged the Wanderer in Sydney. He is retired now however she will sent me some information on his notes, which I thought was good of her. The museum also confirmed that the Australian Wanderer IS the very same Monarch butterfly. I also believe I found mention in a book somewhere that the Monarch had been found in Japan but don't quote me until I can check. I should have all the information she can give me in a couple of days. I can then forward them to you. I have also decided after talking to her that I will investigate planting a Swan Plant also known as Wild Cotton Plant in the garden in an attempt to attract the butterfly. They are so beautiful I can't wait. Bye for now Regards Tanya Kaposi PS I hope this information helps
Hello Karen My father got back to me with the following information:- "We don't get them much up here but I did see one last week. I have taken an extract from my NZ Encyclopedia CDRom there are photos as well... Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus plexippus) is the most celebrated of NZ butterflies, plentiful between late spring and autumn. It has black-edged wings of red, orange and yellow shades, its wingspan is between 80 and 100 mm, and it is a strong flier reaching speeds of up to 40 km/h. The male is distinguished from the female by narrower vein markings, and a sex gland lobe on each wing. The Monarch butterfly came originally from North America, apparently in pre-European times. The Monarch butterfly is renowned for its long-distance migratory flights of up to 2000 kilometres" Its not much but I am expecting more information the Australian Museum in the next few days. Bye for now Regards Tanya Kaposi


Science Museum of Minnesota / Science Learning Network
©1997-98 Science Museum of Minnesota