The monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is a milkweed butterfly in the family Nymphalidae. It may be the most familiar North American butterfly. Its wings feature an easily recognizable orange and black pattern. Female monarchs have darker veins on their wings, and the males have a spot called the androconium in the center of each hind wing. Males are also slightly larger than female monarchs. Pismo Beach, California, USA.