Is my Monarch a boy or a girl?

A Monarch butterfly is a fairly large butterfly. Its wings are orange with black veins. The edges of its wings are black with small white spots. From edge-to-edge, when its wings are spread, the butterfly is between 3.5" to almost 5" across! When seen from the top and bottom, its wings are orange. The female is a brighter orange while the male is more brownish.

It is easy to differentiate male from female. See if you can spot the difference.

 Do you see the little black 'dots' or 'spots' in the butterfly at the bottom? 
This one is a male. Those black dots differentiate male from female.
So, if you see a Monarch and it has black dots on its hindwings, it is a boy. If it has NO spots, it is a girl! Easy-peasy, lemon-squeasy!

Now that you have seen pictures of a girl and a boy Monarch, you are going to take a Monarch test. Are you ready?

What gender do you think this butterfly on my hand is?

Many people often mistake the Gulf Fritillary for a Monarch. Here is a Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae). How does it look like a Monarch? (both are orange, both have black veins, both have black markings…). If you were to measure the two, you would find that the Monarch is a much LARGER butterfly overall. Even the caterpillars look different. Plus, Monarchs use plants in the Milkweed family (Asclepias spp.) as their host plant where Gulf Fritillaries use Passionvines/Passionflowers (Passiflora spp.) as their host plant.

Okay, here's your last test. In this picture, see if you can identify the Monarch and the Gulf Fritillary.

Note on Photos & Content

All pictures and content on MyMonarchGuide are the copyright of tdogmom/MonarchFriend. Permission is granted for personal and educational use only.

some of the adorable clip art found on this website is used with the express written permission of D.J. Inkers