For several days/weeks a single orange and black butterfly had flitted through the yard. It never stopped anywhere in the yard but it was beautiful to watch. From a distance I couldn’t tell if it was a Viceroy or a Monarch. I guessed it was a Viceroy, since there had been several in the yard last year.
Here’s a few photos from last year:
When I took these pictures last year, I had been so excited seeing these, as I thought they were Monarchs. After studying the pictures and various resources, I determined these were Viceroys. The only way I could tell last year was by the fine black line that goes across the wings. Not a monarch, but just as beautiful.
Are there other differences between a Monarch and a Viceroy? Yes there are! But not as easily seen.
- The above noted thin second stripe on the wings
- Viceroy is a bit smaller
- Monarch’s caterpillars are yellow and brown where as the Viceroy looks like a green twig
- Plants from the willow family are a favorite of the Viceroy, but a Monarch prefers Milkweed
- Flight styles are a bit different as well – the Monarch has a smooth almost floating style where the Viceroy’s flight patter is more erratic
Here’s the photos of what I believe to be a Monarch that came for a visit.
There aren’t any milkweeds nearby, that I have seen, so I was very surprised to see these. I’m going to have to check around to see if I can find any milkweeds. If there are some, then there might just get to be more Monarchs in the area next year. I am VERY hopeful! I will keep you posted. 🙂
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All photos are originals by Kim Lawless