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This species is possibly a close relative to the similarly colored soldier butterfly (or tropic queen Danaus eresimus) in any case, it is not close to the plain tiger (Danaus chrysippus) as was long believed. There are seven subspecies. Females lay one egg at a time on larval host plants. Larvae use these plants as a food source, whereas adult butterflies feed mainly on nectar from flowers. Unpalatability to avian predators is a feature of the butterfly however, its level is highly variable. Unpalatability is correlated with the level of cardenolides obtained via the larval diet, but other compounds like alkaloids also play a part in promoting distastefulness.

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Animalia: Arthropoda: Lepidoptera: Insecta: Nymphalidae: Danaus gilippus

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