Deciphering Butterflies: Monarch & Mimics

Deciphering Butterflies: Monarch & Mimics

These Viceroy resembles the Monarch and Queen in an effort to avoid predation as the latter two are distasteful to predators due to the ingestion of cardiac glycosides as larvae (Müllerian mimicry).

    Monarch (Danaus plexippus)

    General Appearance – Large (3 3/8 – 4 7/8 inches) orange and black butterfly. 
    Range – Statewide 
    Status – Common, found season long in multiple habitats. 
    Dorsal – Predominately orange, veins and border black, no black band traversing the middle of the hindwing. 
    Ventral – Similar to dorsal.

    Monarch species page

    Viceroy (Limenitis archippus)

    General Appearance – Medium sized 2 1/2 – 3 3/8 inches orange and black butterfly, usually slightly smaller than Monarchs and Queens. 
    Range – Statewide. 
    Status – Occasional in riparian habitats from June to September. 
    Dorsal – Predominately orange, veins and border black, with a black band traversing the middle of the hindwing.
    Ventral – Similar to dorsal

    Viceroy species page

    Queen (Danaus gilippus)

    General Appearance -Large to medium sized (2 5/8 – 3 7/8 inches) orange and black butterfly. 
    Range – Most records are from the southern half of the state. 
    Status – Rare stray that might occur in a variety of habitats. 
    Dorsal – Orange basally, veins not conspicuously blackened with a row of white spots across the forewing. 
    Ventral – Similar to dorsal but darker, veins may be more blackened.

    Queen species page

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