Gay Monarch Butterflies and Homosexuality in Nature

Updated on February 17, 2017

Homosexuality in the natural world

Last year, I reared many Monarch Butterflies and one day I noticed that a male who had dried his wings and been out flying had come back to my balcony and was making efforts to copulate with a slightly younger male that was still resting while its wings fully dried out. I took some photos.

I had a look online and discovered that the Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is one of very many species of animals that regularly show homosexual and bisexual behaviour. Wikipedia gives a very long list and details of many species of mammal, birds, reptile, amphibian, fish and insect that are known to exhibit homosexual behaviour. The Monarch is on the list.

Homosexual Monarch Butterflies

Homosexual male Monarch butterfly behaviour
Homosexual male Monarch butterfly behaviour
Male Monarch attempting to copulate with another male
Male Monarch attempting to copulate with another male

The Biblical view

Meanwhile some humans guided by religious books like the Holy Bible claim that is wrong. This doesn't make a lot of sense when you consider how many other life-forms exhibit homosexuality and bisexuality as normal behaviour and that it exists in the presence of members of the opposite sex in the species concerned.

This was the case with the Monarch Butterflies where I live. There were female butterflies about so the male was choosing to mate with another male. It is interesting because this species has visual signs to distinguish one sex from the other. Male butterflies have a black spot marking on their wings and are larger, whereas females are smaller, have darker coloured wings and no black spot.

Animal homosexuality and bisexuality compared with in humans also raises the question: if it is wrong why did the same God who made us make so many other animals that can be homosexuals or bisexuals?

Clearly there is nothing wrong with it. Homosexuality is a normal part of nature.

I am sure you will have seen male dogs attempting to have sex with other males. This is a very common form of behaviour for these animals. Bonobo apes normally indulge in homosexuality and bisexuality as well.

Recently in the news there has been the touching story of the two male gay penguins who have looked after an egg they were given and are happy as couple. Black Swan males are apparently often like this too and will rear cygnets from eggs laid by females they have no interest in sexually.

Once again I am left with the conclusion that animals live in a better way than humans who find fault with others of their own species because of what is written in a book.

© 2009 Steve Andrews


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    • Bard of Ely profile image

      Steve Andrews 6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you, Brittanytodd! I have named the Bible because it is one of the main causes of hatred and discrimination against gay people due to scriptures which state clearly that homosexuality is a sin and an abomination.

    • brittanytodd profile image

      Brittany Kennedy 6 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

      I think this is a great hub that explores an interesting topic within homosexuality. I would have to say that I know a ton of people who follow the bible and agree with homosexuality, so I don't know if it is necessary to identify people who follow the bible in this hub. Having said that, I think this is a very interesting topic and think you did an excellent job at presenting it. Voted up, interesting, etc.

    • Bard of Ely profile image

      Steve Andrews 6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Some very good points there! Thanks, Amanda!

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      Amanda Berry 6 years ago

      Well whilst it refutes the argument homosexuality is unnatural. Playing Devil's advocate here I don't know whether one can say something is right because animals do it. Well animals kill each other and will even practice cannibalism. IOW Animals behave in ways which would be regarded as repugnant and/or evil my most people and would be illegal in most human societies. So I think it's difficult to cite animals as a guide to right and wrong and how humans should behave. Or even God's intentions, if any.

      OTOH unlike some things animals do to each other homosexuality doesn't actually harm anyone, at least no more than heterosexuality, so from a humanistic standpoint I think it's perfectly acceptable, in fact it can be argued to be a positive thing.

      Some religions seem to get hung up on these things but religion fills people with nonsense, ignorance and lies about the World and Universe we live in and then call this BS the "Word of God". Generally though many religions don't want people to think for themselves they are largely about control and have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with God it's just pure idolatry in it's worse and most evil manipulative form.

    • Bard of Ely profile image

      Steve Andrews 6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal


    • fen lander profile image

      fen lander 6 years ago from Whitstable

      Oo, those butterflies! What are they like? No decorum. Don't they have cold showers, then? Filthy behaviour, I'm glad you've brought it to our attention. I'm starting a campaign with lobbyists, multi-national corporate pharmaceuticals et al, to have them sprayed with something and re-educated so they pack it in. Shouldn't be allowed!

    • Bard of Ely profile image

      Steve Andrews 8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Hi Catherine! Thank you for posting and I am very glad you have experience this island for yourself!

    • Catherine R profile image

      Catherine R 8 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      I didn't know about the Monarch Butterfly but had heard of homosexual behaviour in lots of other animals. You are so right - the book (or rather the interpretation of it) has led to a lot of misery. I am looking forward to reading some more of your hubs - I enjoyed a happy stay in Teneriffe in about 1990 so I can picture your scenery.