Queen (Danaus gilippus)

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DISTRIBUTION in North Carolina: Essentially limited to the Coastal Plain, and perhaps along the eastern edge of the Piedmont (Durham, Wake and Moore counties). However, it is primarily seen along and near the coast or tidewater areas. The record from Durham County likely relates to an escaped individual, as the species is kept at butterfly houses and as several observers have actually seen free-flying Queens outside the houses on the grounds of the N.C. Musuem of Life and Science.
ABUNDANCE in North Carolina: This is primarily a post-breeding southern migrant into North Carolina during the summer and fall. There are more than a dozen records, mainly near the coast. It is rare along the immediate coast, and very rare farther inland to the Fall Line. It is also quite variable in numbers from year to year and is not reported annually.
FLIGHT PERIOD in North Carolina: In 1995, several observers, including Harry LeGrand, Jr., saw Queens on four occasions, all at Fort Fisher, from early September to mid-October. Dates of the pre-1995 records are not known to NC Natural Heritage Program; however, a Virginia observer reported the species as "common" in September 1985 on the Outer Banks. No reports of Queens were received by NC Natural Heritage Program in 1996 or 1997. However, 1998 was a different story; they showed up early, in higher numbers and stayed later than previous years for which we have records.
Distribution, abundance, flight period, and map information provided by Notes on the Butterflies of North Carolina.