If you raise butterflies, sometimes you will see something a bit odd, like this white scaled Monarch butterfly.
These Monarch butterflies, with a covering of white scales, are very unlike the well-known Hawaiian White Monarchs. These butterflies have white scales on their bodies and wings, in other places that Hawaii’s population of White Monarch Butterflies.
The Monarchs with white scales that we raised were quite unusual. White scales were on their bodies, as seen clearly in our video. To see the video, please click on this sentence.
When paired with a normal male, all offspring were normal in appearance. When paired with a Monarch that had this gene, some of the offspring were white. When two white Monarchs were paired, all offspring were white.
Most of the aberration white Monarch butterflies that we raised had badly crippled wings. They were unable to fly. The gene that caused the white scales was connected to a gene that caused severely deformed wings. We only raised a few of these aberrations before we stopped raising these for study. It did not make sense to raise them only to have to euthanize them.
Dancetta Feary has raised hundreds of Hawaii’s White Monarchs in memory of her brother, Mackey Faery, who was a musician in the band, Kapalana. You can learn more about Dancetta and her butterflies by clicking on this sentence.