If you look closely at the to monarch, you can see the dots that signify that it is a male are actually raised up. That is a new discovery for me. I have taken pictures before where I could tell that the veining (the thin black lines running through the wings) were raised. And it looks like canvas stretched between the black sections. Always reminds me of putting together the kites for my boys when they were young. Like material for most of the kite so that it would be light enough to fly but pieces of wood or plastic sticks that needed to be there to give the kite structure.
This guy is also pretty beaten up with lots of tears in his wings. He has lived from late aug/early sept. when he was born. Until now, late Jan. It has been a windy and very heavy rains throughout the last part of the season. These monarchs that make up the migrating generation show us just how tough they can be. The eggs that will get fertilized through the mating process will now have a much, much short lifespan of 4 to 6 weeks. Easy to be beautiful for such a short time. But that they can still fly and mate always amazes me and reminds my how incredible God's creations are.