|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|I am sure there has been a lot written about Monarch butterflies on TrekNature over the years so I am not going to add to much to what has been said. But, I would like to tell you a little about this guy in particular.|
As you might have noticed, or not, this picture was taken in early September in Northern Illinois, USA. You might ask why that is important, well maybe I can help. This is the time when Monarch's start their long flight to Mexico for the winter. (Right now I wish I had gone with them.) I don't know if this butterfly was born here in Illinois or further North in Canada and just stopping by for something to eat, but I do know it is headed South. I am sure, this butterfly will leave my yard and if it is very very lucky will fly almost 3,000 miles to Mexico, live through the winter and return to Texas before providing the next generation and dieing. It's off spring will continue the cycle by having 3 or 4 more generations before heading South next year.
They are a magnificent butterfly to watch and photograph, but they are also amazing in their story of strength and endurance.
I have added just a little from Wikipedia:
Species: D. plexippus
Danaus archippus (Fabricius, 1793)
Danaus menippe (Hübner, 1816)
The monarch (Danaus plexippus) is a milkweed butterfly (subfamily Danainae), in the family Nymphalidae. It is perhaps the best known of all North American butterflies. Since the 19th century, it is also found in New Zealand, and has been known in Australia since 1871. In Australia it is also known as the wanderer butterfly. In Europe it is resident in the Canary Islands and Madeira, and is found as a migrant in Russia, Azores, Sweden, Spain and Portugal. Its wings feature an easily recognizable orange and black pattern, with a wingspan of 8.9–10.2 centimetres (3½–4 in). (The viceroy butterfly has a similar size, color, and pattern, but can be distinguished by an extra black stripe across the hindwing.) Female monarchs have darker veins on their wings, and the males have a spot in the center of each hindwing from which pheromones are released. Males are also slightly larger.
Enjoy - Bob
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