Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Queen Butterfly

 Queen Butterfly
The queen butterfly is a member of the Nymphalidae or brushfoot family. They are found in temperate, tropical and semi tropical areas of North, Central, and South America. In the warmer portions of their range they can be found year long and in the northern portions of the range they are found July-August. They are in the same family as the monarch and soldier butterflies and can be difficult to distinguish from the soldier without class inspection.
Queen Butterfly
 Adult queens roost communally at night. During the day males patrol for willing females. Courtship and mating typically take place in the afternoon. A pair may remain coupled for an hour or more. Females can mate up to 15 times before they are through. The female lays the eggs individually typically on something in the milkweed family, their primary larval host plant. When the larva, caterpillars, hatch they eat the milkweed which makes them unpalatable to many of their would be predators. The caterpillar will go through six growth stages, called instars, in which they will shed their outer skin. During the six instar they will find a place to pupate. They will send 7-10 days in their pupae and then emerge as an adult butterfly. The butterflies are still toxic to most predators primarily from the milkweed that they ate during the larval stage.


Roger Owen Green said...

Yup, mistook it for the monarch...
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Joy said...

Beautiful and wonderfully sharp photographs.
Joy - ABC Team

Lea said...

Great photos!
Interesting information.