Monarch

Monarch  Danaus plexippus, #4614, is one of the two milkweed butterflies we have in the garden.   The other is the Queen Danaus gilippus  #4615.   Both must have milkweed plants for their caterpillars to eat, so that is where the females of both place her eggs, usually one egg on a leaf.  The Monarch and Queen will visit a variety of flowers for nectar, including the flowers of the milkweed plants and in doing so pick up pollen from one flower and transfer it to another flower.  The milkweed plants have chemicals that are distasteful to predators.  These chemicals are ingested by the caterpillar and remain in the butterfly.  Birds have learned that snacking on Monarchs and Queens is not a good thing to do.  This gives both species some protection from predators.  The Queen males and Monarch males have a black dot on a vein on the top side of the hind wing.  The females do not have the dot.  The Queens are a little smaller and darker than the Monarch.  The veining of the hind wings is wider on the Monarch than the Queen. 

Monarch Danaus plexippus  #4614 (6 of 1).jpg