Friday, November 7, 2014

A Queen Visits My Garden

A Queen stopped in

 to visit my garden recently.

A Queen butterfly, that is.

Queen butterflies, Danaus Gilippus

are cousins to the Monarch butterfly.  

Queens and Monarchs 

share a striking resemblance,

though Queen butterflies

have a darker brown ground color.

Queens are moderately large butterflies 

with a wing span of close to three inches.

Common to the southern US, 

Queens are frequently seen here in Austin

and like to feed on milkweed and 

the nectar of many flowering plants.

This visitor seems to like

the blue mistflower blooms.

Unlike the Monarchs, 

Queens do not migrate long distances, 

but rather travel to closer destinations with dry conditions.

Male and female Queens 

share the same markings except that

the male has a a dark scent-pouch 

on its dorsal hind wings.

As you can see in the photo above, 

it was a male visiting my garden.