Monday, September 23, 2013

King vs. Queen

Thanks to Steven Kessel for today's photos and text!

Steven writes:
Occasionally, as I'm walking around Sabino Canyon I'll hear people talking about the "Monarch Butterflies" that they see there. Most of the "Monarchs" are Queen Butterflies, a related species. Queens superficially resemble Monarchs but the differences are readily apparent when the two species are seen side by side. Monarchs are a common butterfly in the eastern U.S., but are relatively rare in these parts. They do show up occasionally in Sabino Canyon and tend to hang out around the Buttonbushes near the bridges that lie southwest of Sabino Dam. I've seen Queens at these sites far more often than I've seen Monarchs.

Comparison photos from Steven Kessel:

Note the peace sign formed by the black of the body and the border of the wings. (Use a bit of imagination.)

Note the lack of a peace sign!

Monarch from the side

Queen from the side

They both like the Button Bush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)!

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