|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Every fall millions of monarch butterflies stop over in pockets of localities near us on their migration south (see notes below). They cluster on eucalyptus trees until they cover every inch of the leaves. It is an amazing sight. To celebrate that incredible natural phenomenon, some towns hold a Monarch Butterfly Festival every year.|
This butterfly is a male. The male Monarch Butterfly may be easily distinguished from the female by noting the two highly visible black spots on the insect's hind wings and the thinner black webbing within the wings. The female's webbing is thicker and she has no identifying wing spot as the male does.
The Monarch Butterfly is the king of the insect world. Even though they are small creatures, they do phenomenal things. First, they develop from tiny eggs, to a caterpillar, become a chrysalis, and finally transform into a beautiful butterfly. They migrate, traveling great distances to over winter in a temperate climate. Amazingly enough, not one butterfly makes the entire round-trip journey. Winter butterflies are sluggish and do not reproduce. In spring they return to summer homes and breed along the way. Their offspring return to the starting point.
Danaus plexippus is the scientific name for the Monarch Butterfly. Related species in the family are found on all continents except the polar regions, wherever milkweed and related plants are found. It also provides the Monarch with an intriguing form of protection, since the milkweed juices assimilated by the Monarch make it poisonous to predatory birds. The beautiful orange color of the Monarch butterfly serves to teach predators that their intended meal might be toxic. Not all milkweeds produce cardiac glycosides, therefore not all Monarchs are poisonous. However, the warning orange color serves to disguise poisonous from the non-toxic Monarch.
Each Autumn, thousands of Monarch Butterflies gather in southern Canada to migrate south. Some of these butterflies travel over 2,900 kilometers, just to overwinter in places such as Michoacan, Mexico in a small town called Angangueo. Other Monarch Butterflies also overwinter in Cuba, and Pacific Grove, as well as Newark, California. In sanctuaries such as the one in Angangueo, Michoacan in Mexico there are millions of these gorgeous butterflies. From morning until about 1:00pm, they are most active. You can see them flying around and almost blocking the sky. You will hear the fascinating sound of their wings flapping. During their long flight there is a great danger from predators.
AndyB, TAZ, carper, liquidsunshine, hummingbird24, phlr has marked this note useful
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- [2005-04-24 4:54]
A very nice capture.
Good composition with the slight diagonal and nice vivid colours.
Good work,well done.
- [2005-04-24 6:42]
Belle et intéressante macro pour ce magnifique Monarque. Jolies couleurs et très bonne netteté.
Nice & Well Done !!!
- [2005-04-24 7:14]
Stunning colors, razorsharp details and very well composed. This is a very nice picture. :) TFS!
- [2005-04-24 12:52]
This is a very nice one of the Monarch Butterfly. The composition is very nice, the sharpnes is good, I think personal the pov can be done some better and then I mean the wing at the right, but even I like the good result, very good note too, well done.
Well captured Manyee,
Very well composed. great colours, details and sharpness.
Thanks for posting
Very nice shot, nice colours and good details. But the fly is too centered.
Lovely monarch and photo, Manyee.
There is a cliff, not far from where I live, called Hawkscliff, I believe, where one can go and see this migratory stop over. There have been reports of thousands of them being seen there at a time. Perhaps this year I will make the trek and see for myself. Thank you for an interesting and wonderful posting.
- [2005-05-18 9:28]
Good shot Manyee!
We have several similar species here but as far as I know they don't migrate like monarchs. I've seen them when I used to live in California, on some of our field trips.
You also have a beautiful Monarch here.
Liked her colors.
- [2005-07-26 11:50]
Very beautiful photo of a Monarch butterfly!