What's That Bug? are trees in the willow family, especially small, shrubby species. As an adaptation for camouflage, it mimics a bird dropping. Aphids, Scale Insects, Leafhoppers, and Tree Hoppers, Fungus Beetles and Pleasing Fungus Beetles, Pantry Beetles, Grain Weevils, Spider Beetles, Meal Worms and Carpet Beetles, Crickets, Camel Crickets and Mole Crickets, Sow Bugs, Pill Bugs, Isopods, Lawn Shrimp and Amphipods, Hummingbird Moths, Sphinx Moths or Hawk Moths, Pantry Moths, Clothes Moths, Case-Bearers and Meal Moths, Neuropterans: Lacewings, Antlions, and Owlflies, What's That Bug? Eggs resemble galls on willow leaves. Viceroy butterfly, photographed at Fern Forest Nature Center, Coconut Creeek, Broward County, in May 2014. First of all I know you’ve heard this a million times but I love your website, it is more encompassing than any bug identification book. In that case, Monarchs and Viceroys are mimicking each other, each cashing in on the other’s bad reputation (Mullerian mimicry). The caterpillars eat willow and poplar. The viceroy butterfly, Limentis archippus , is an imposter. The orange Viceroys mimic the Monarch (Danaus plexippus). I may keep it and see what it turns into if you can’t. Stripy monarch caterpillars grow to between 1” and 1.7” (2.5 – 4.5 cm) long. The main visual difference between the viceroy and monarch butterfly is the black line drawn across the viceroy's hind wings, which monarch butterflies do not have. This group is often called the “four-foot” butterflies because they carry their short front legs tucked up against their body and walk on the other four. The Viceroy Butterfly is best known for being a mimic of the Monarch. The early broods live out their life cycles in a few months, forming a chrysalis when it’s time to transform into an adult. Admiral caterpillars overwinter in the same fashion as the Viceroy’s, are also bird-poop mimics, and are so similar to Viceroy caterpillars that only their mamas can distinguish them for sure. Butterfly Look-Alikes: Monarch, Queen, Soldier and Viceroy Most nature lovers can easily identify the Monarch butterfly, with its briliant orange color and dark lines.. Thanks in advance. In our defense, the Viceroy, Limenitis archippus, and the Red Spotted Purple, Limenitis arthemis astyanax, are in the same genus and their caterpillars look very similar. Ecologists have long preached that Viceroys have enjoyed a Batesian “Get-out-of-Jail-Free” card due to their resemblance to the toxic Monarch butterfly. Hi Amy, First, we apologize for our misidentification of your Viceroy Caterpillar last month.. Your caterpillar is most definitely in the genus Limenitis. It has orange-brown wings with dark black veins. The caterpillar of the viceroy also uses another form of mimicry by resembling a bird dropping. The caterpillars of monarchs and viceroys are significantly different in appearance as well. When it crawls in, the final segment of its abdomen forms a living operculum. The wing span of the adult ranges from 2 1/2 to 3 3/8 inches (6.3 to 8.6 cm). Christi Braxton 13-Nov-2008 20:42 The viceroy butterfly is similar enough in appearance to fool most butterfly predators into thinking that it also tastes bad, and so it is usually left alone, despite that its caterpillar doesn't feed on milkweed. This is a clever performance, for if one of his foes should be hunting about this leaf and should start out on the denuded stem, it would meet with this empty and worthless mass to begin with and naturally be discouraged from farther [sic] investigation. Caterpillars have just about every oddity one can think of when describing a caterpillar. The Viceroy butterfly (Limenitis archippus) is nearly identical to the Monarch.It has orange-brown wings with dark black veins. Diet. Monarchs are poisonous because their caterpillar host plant, milkweed, contains harmful cardiac glycosides (Batesian mimicry—the harmless imitating the harmful). Female Viceroys lay just a few eggs per plant. Previous Next. It eats the leaf from the tip down, sparing the midrib. As mimics go, the Viceroy is a flexible one. The Viceroy butterfly (Limenitis archippus) is nearly identical to the Monarch butterfly. Alternately, since some parasitoids locate caterpillars by following a trail of frass, another source speculates that a ball of frass hanging in plain sight may keep them discovering the caterpillar. The dark colors on the viceroy… The Viceroy’s name comes from the fact that, while it is similar to the Monarch and the Queen butterflies, it is smaller, and by extension lower in rank in the British peerage. Viceroy forms occasional natural hybrids with the red spotted purple, Limenitis astyanax. Admiral caterpillars overwinter in the same fashion as the Viceroy’s, are also bird-poop mimics, and are so similar to Viceroy caterpillars that only their mamas can distinguish them for sure. As the caterpillar molts and matures, it looks increasingly like a glob of bird poop (for another champion bird-poop mimic, Google the “Beautiful wood nymph moth.” If you forget to add “moth,” the BugLady is not responsible for the sites you’ll get to). The monarch caterpillar (Danaus plexippus) is quite easy to identify with its black, white, and yellow stripy appearance.Monarch caterpillars gorge on milkweed which makes them poisonous to other birds and insects. The caterpillar feeds on trees in the willow family Salicaceae, including willows (Salix), and poplars and cottonwoods (Populus). Then it rolls the remaining bit of leaf into a cylinder a half-inch long and an eighth-inch wide, securing it with silk. Their wingspan reaches two and a half to three and three-eighths inches. The reddish brown Viceroys mimic the Queen (Danaus gilippus) and the Soldier (Danaus eresimus).