Friday, January 1, 2016

Male Queen Butterfly


Male Queen Butterfly (Danaus gilippus) with the two dark upper wing spots - or pheromone scales. Queen butterflies are cousins of  Monarch butterflies and similar to Soldier Butterflies. The Queen's are year-round residents of Florida, but my experience has been they are not that common to see and equally as beautiful as the Monarchs.  Both use milkweed (Asclepias species) as host plants. 
Queen butterflies are not like ants and termites, the ones that lay the eggs. ‘Queen’ is simply the name of this species of butterfly. There are both male and female Queen butterflies. Like Monarchs, male Queens have a black spot on each hindwing. These black dots are pheromone scales. Although Monarch butterflies do not use pheromones during courtship and mating, Queen butterflies do use pheromones.
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Male Queen Butterfly