This is an AS IS photograph of a female monarch butterfly along side the chrysalis she just emerged from. Photo taken with a Canon EOS Rebel XTi and 100mm f/2.8 macro lens on my property in Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada.
The Monarch is a milkweed butterfly (subfamily Danainae), in the family Nymphalidae. It is perhaps the best known of all North American butterflies.
Female Monarchs (as shown here) have darker veins on their wings, and the males have a spot called the “androconium” in the center of each hind wing from which pheromones are released. Males are also slightly larger.
The larvae and the butterflies retain poisonous glycosides from their larval host plant, the milkweed, so they become distasteful to potential predators. The monarch butterfly eats only milkweed as larvae. This highly effective defense strategy shields them against almost all predators that soon learn to avoid these species after attempting to eat them.
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© 2015 Renee Dawson – All rights reserved.