Monarch Danaus plexippus

Easily the most famous butterfly in the US and possibly the world. And it is a stunning animal when fresh. Powerful fliers and known for the long migrations to their collection trees in Mexico, it is hard not to appreciate them. I have watched hundreds and hundreds float over on October days headed toward Texas and farther south. Males have two dark scent glands on the hindwing that the females lack. It is not well known but if you catch one and hold it to your nose it often smells of whatever flower that Monarch was concentrating its nectar efforts upon.

Male with the dark scent glands visible.

Big September Monarch that is absolutely fresh. Very few wing miles on this one.

 

 

The classic Monarch cat. From Texas and Terry and Janice Fischer, who took a whole sequence there. Very few other cats found feeding on Milkweed. This one appears headed for an attachment spot.

And in spring of 2017 Monarchs migrating by in spring timed things just right and placed eggs on several of my White-flowered Milkweed, Asclepias variegata. Giving me my first spring cats.
Almost stripping a few plants I moved some around. They even made or didn't but I watch them enlarge to full size and vanish.  

 

 

Splitting chrysalis also from Texas. The early chrys is pale greenish with a crown of dots.

 

 

And the newly minted Monarch from the above chrys. Still has to do some wing inflation.