I noticed a movement within our butterfly enclosure and looked over to see a lovely male Monarch, wings flicking and ready to go. I hadn't even realised he had emerged from his chrysalis, so what a lovely surprise to find him perfect and ready to go.
As you can see, I could tell it was a male by the two black 'dots' showing on it's underwings. These are said to be scent glands that give off pheromones to attract the females. Having said that, I recently read a report that said scientists are now unsure whether these glands do in fact give off pheromones in a male Monarch.
Whatever the fact of this might be, seeing today's male was a total and enjoyable surprise.
He played with me for a while, flicking around the leaves on our little orange tree, then flew onto the tomato plant, then flew onto my head (yes, my head) and finally flew up into our olive tree to bask in the sun for a while.