About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Identify Monarch Butterfly

I was excited to see a monarch on my flowers outside the Wild Birds Unlimited store! It was battling the winds with expert skill.

The Monarch Butterfly has distinct black veins, and a black border with white polka dots on orange wings. The underside of the monarch butterflies' wings are paler than the topside. The wingspan of a full-grown monarch is four to five inches. The body of the monarch is black with more white dots.

Males and females can be told apart by looking at the top of their hind wings. Males have a black spot at the center of each hind wing, while the females do not. The spot is a scent gland that helps the males attract female mates.

While beautiful, this coloring actually sends a warning to predators that the monarch is foul tasting and poisonous.

Take a quiz to see if you can tell the difference between the similar viceroy and queen butterflies: http://look-alikes-fool-you/

Related Articles:
- Do Monarch Butterflies just wake up in the spring? http://goo.gl/5tkUk
- Monarch migration route http://goo.gl/L66ty
- Punctuation Butterflies: The First Butterfly of Spring! http://bit.ly/JHUpG1  
- How Fast Does a Monarch Butterfly Fly? http://bit.ly/ywhpZr
- Did you know butterflies have ears on their wings? http://bit.ly/x04qEi

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