Viceroy butterfly

Title Info
Common name Butterfly, Viceroy
Scientific name Limenitis archippus
Taxonomic group Nymphalidae
Source Dan L. Perlman
Selection and adaptations Coloration
Coloration Aposematic coloration; Mimicry
Organisms Animals
Animals Insects
Lessons Mimicry and Camouflage
Date August 20, 2000
Location USA,North America
Aposematic coloration: viceroy butterfly
Related materials: Monarch and Viceroy
Compare with the monarch butterfly for an example of Mullerian mimicry (click to see an image of a Monarch butterfly ).

Aposematic coloration in Viceroy butterfly, USA. Viceroy butterflies have long been thought to be palatable mimics of Monarchs, which are known to be distasteful and toxic. More recently, ecologists have determined that both Viceroys and Monarchs are distasteful, making this a classic example of Mullerian mimicry in which both species benefit by looking like another distasteful species. Bright and memorable color patterns like this are called aposematic coloring, and the coloration acts as a warning to potential predators.