Do Queen butterflies use common milkweed?

kellybird02(7b)November 12, 2012

I just have a quick question. I am working on an article about Common milkweed for butterflies and I was wondering if Queen butterflies use Common milkweed for a host plant like the Monarchs do? I don't see Queen butterflies in my area so I am not very familiar with them. I am guessing they would but I don't want to spread misleading info!

Thank You for your help!!


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Yes. A more complete list of hostplants is here:

Queen hostplants USA

There are duplicate records in the database, so some hostplants appear more than once.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 10:33PM
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Wow, Larry, what a great resource. I have not come across that one before - thanks!

I should have been more specific. I am referring to Asclepias syriaca as Common milkweed and I don't see it mentioned on that list.

I don't think there is a great overlap between the Queen butterfly's range and where Asclepias syriaca is more likely to be found (central to Northeast US)? Maybe Kansas and Missouri?

I know that here in SC Asclepias syriaca is not a weed that is often seen like it is in other states even though it is shown as being native to this state.

I wonder where the museum gets their information for the data base. It looks like the Queen butterfly has a smaller group of preferred Asclepias or maybe it just has to do with the Danaus gilippus range not overlapping with Asclepias species which are native farther north.

Thanks again

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 11:07AM
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The database is made up of observations by people in the field, probably entomologists or students of the same.

The smaller list of Asclepias for the Queen is likely because there have been fewer collective observations of that butterfly as compared to the more numerous Monarchs.

For information specific to one milkweed species in one U.S. state, you will have to rely on local resources, or a forum member with knowledge about SC.

You might try entering the hostplant in the database and see if any Queens come up in the list; there is always the possibility that these data have not been cross-linked in the database.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 11:28PM
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Kelly, Here is the list that Dallas Lep Society has for Queens...
"Queen (Danaus gilippus): Blunt-Leaf Milkweed (Asclepias amplexicaulis), Antelope-Horns (A. asperula), Tropical Milkweed (A. curassavica), Slim Milkweed (A. linearis), ButterflyWeed (A. tuberosa), Green Milkweed (A. viridis), and probably other of our native Asclepias spp. Also, Climbing-Milkweed (Sarcostemma cynanchoides) and probably others."
Dale Clark, who is the site's creator, raises butterflies for a living to supply zoos & butterfly houses all over the country.
Hope this helps as well...I have Queens here just west of DFW & have never seen a queen cat on my Common Milkweed...only on A.curassavica, asperula & viridis...& I have all of them in my BF garden.
Good luck,

Here is a link that might be useful: Dallas CountyLepidopterists' Society

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 12:04PM
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In my part of Texas, they usually use A. asperula, A. texana or A. curassavica.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 5:57PM
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Thanks everyone for the info and resources! I'm only going to list the Monarch and not the Queen as butterflies that utilize Asclepias syriaca as a host plant since I can not verify that Queens use it.


    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 9:58AM
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