To determine if a monarch is a male or female we need to observe its upper wing surfaces, which is often tough to do.

In addition to the pictures below, I’ve added several shots with the wings partly folded.

Male Monarch
This male stopped for nectar while migrating to Mexico in September 2003. Black pigment that outlines its wing veins makes thin lines, akin to those traced by a pencil. On each hind wing is a black “scent pouch” that no longer contains perfumes to attract females. CLICK FOR MORE VIEWS

Female Monarch
Female monarchs lack scent pouches, and the black pigment that highlights their wing veins makes thick black lines. These sometimes appear smudgy, as if produced by a piece of charcoal. CLICK FOR MORE VIEWS

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