How Does a Monarch Butterfly Keep its Wings Intact?

Monarch butterfly photographed at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

The Monarch is the butterfly that almost everyone can identify. They earn the broad recognition and respect that we give them for the monarch caterpillar and chrysalis life cycle.

This female Monarch is nectaring on Joe Pye weed flowers and she is in full regalia. The orange that she is showing us confirms that she is ‘fresh’ and it’s an important means of quickly identifying her as a Monarch. No less striking are the bright white splashes found on her head, thorax and abdomen.

It’s no surprise that we’ve included several photos of Monarchs along with caterpillar and pupae. Their beauty and pluck fascinate us.

They are strong fliers and not easily approached…unless they are hungry. This one was and that’s why I was able to capture so much of its striking detail.

How has she been able to keep her wings intact, despite all of the the predators and dangers of her surroundings?