Butterfly Aberrations

Butterfly aberrations are more common than we may think!

Yellow and green Monarch butterfly pupae chrysalises Danaus plexippus

Yellow and green
Monarch butterfly chrysalises
Danaus plexippus

Monarch butterfly aberration with areas in the wings without veins

Monarch butterfly aberration with areas in the wings without veins

Monarch butterfly with white scales where black scales should be located.  Danaus plexippus

Monarch butterfly with
white scales where
black scales
should be located.

Monarch butterfly aberration with larger white spots on outer edges of wings.  Danaus plexippus

Monarch butterfly aberration
with larger white spots
on outer edges of wings.

Monarch butterfly aberration white spots Danaus plexippus

Monarch butterfly aberration
Larger white spots
Danaus plexippus

White Gulf Fritillary caterpillar Agraulis vanillae

White Gulf Fritillary caterpillar
Agraulis vanillae

Gulf Fritillary adult butterfly with white eyes, from the white caterpillar.  Agraulis vanillae

Gulf Fritillary adult butterfly
with white eyes,
from the white caterpillar.
Agraulis vanillae

Saddleback Moth caterpillar with unusual markings on its back

Saddleback Moth caterpillar
with unusual markings
on its back
Found in New Orleans, LA

There are many types of aberrations in butterflies. These are a few that we’ve raised at our farm.

Although the adult Monarch from the yellow chrysalises were normal, the chrysalises themselves were fascinating. You can learn more about these yellow Monarch butterfly chrysalises by clicking on this sentence.

Monarch butterflies without veins in the outer edges of their wings were quickly tattered. They had trouble flying until the outside of their wings broke. Once the other edge was gone, they flew without trouble.

Monarch butterflies with an overabundance of white scales, in places where scales should be black, were interesting. These are not the white Monarchs of Hawaii. The Hawaiian White Monarchs have all black bodies. These also had white scales on their bodies.

The white spots on the outer edges of a Monarch butterfly’s wings are normally fairly round. This aberration had elongated white spots.

Several years ago we collected a few Gulf Fritillary eggs from the wild when we were looking for more breeding stock. Two of those eggs hatched and were white Gulf Fritillary caterpillars. The adult version were markedly lighter in color and had white eyes.

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