ENCHANTED FOREST PARK, FL
This photograph is of a Queen butterfly taken with a Nikon D90 camera body attached to a Nikkor 60mm 2.8 lens and macro light ring. Subject was captured at Enchanted Forest Park. This park is located in North Miami, FL on 135th Street just west of Biscayne Blvd. For those interested in bird or insect photography, or just casual observation, this is a fantastic park for all to visit.
The Queen Butterfly (Danaus gilippus) is a North and South American butterfly in the family Nymphalidae (the brush-foots) with a wingspan of 2.75–3.25″ (70–88mm). It is orange or brown with black wing borders and small white forewing spots on its dorsal wing surface, and reddish ventral wing surface fairly similar to the dorsal surface. The ventral hindwings have black veins and small white spots in a black border. The male has a black androconial scent patch on its dorsal hindwings.
This species is possibly a close relative to the similarly-colored Soldier Butterfly (or “Tropic Queen”; Danaus eresimus); in any case, it is not close to the Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus) as was long believed. There are about 10 recognized subspecies of this butterfly. As with other North American Danaus species, it is involved in Müllerian mimicry with the Viceroy butterfly (Limenitis archippus) where the two co-occur.
The habitat of the Queen butterfly is open, sunny areas including fields, deserts, roadsides, pastures, dunes, washes, and waterways, and they range all year in Florida and South Texas, July-August in the north.