Butterfly … Queen or Monarch?

I discovered butterflies can be as difficult to photograph and identify as birds! It finally dawned on me to wait for a butterfly to land on a flower,  photograph it, and then identify it. Any photo of a butterfly in flight has not been worth saving, but a few on a flower, well maybe yes!

My next question to myself, am I photographing a queen or monarch butterfly? To refresh my memory, I checked my resources and now know these are all queens. Notice in the dark orange of the wings there are occasional white dots; therefore, it is a queen butterfly in photo above and below.

Next question, is it a male or female butterfly? When their wings are open, a male will display prominent black markings, often referred to as the “family jewels”, but they are defunct pheromone sacs once used to drive the female butterflies crazy. And now you know! In the photo below, a male Queen butterfly.

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