06 August 2007

Queens of the Garden

I stepped out the other morning and happened to spy the dark chrysalis of a Queen butterfly hanging on the haberdleaf hibiscus. I knew it was a Queen (Danaus gilippus) immediately, because the chrysalis looked much like the it's sister, the Monarch, and because I'd randomly seen a Queen caterpillar wandering around the hibiscus stems a week or two ago.

A few minutes later, and this beautiful male Queen emerged. (You can tell it's a dude because of the black spot on his hind wing. From this spot, the male sprays pheromone into the wind for the lusty ladies.)

FYI, in the Danaus butterflies of North America, there's the Monarch, the Queen and the Soldier. Those entomologists...

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