Blog: Carlita the Croc

Monarch, or not a monarch?

I’ve invented a new game.  It’s called “Monarch, or not a monarch.”

A few weeks back, we took a look at a monarch butterfly and some of its tell-tale traits.  Now that we know what to look for, I’m going to post some pictures on Twitter of orange butterflies that may, or may not be monarchs.  To play, all you need to do is reply to a posted picture with #monarch or #notamonarch.  You can even post your own picture and have others play!  Be sure to tag @candidcroc!

Let’s start our first round right here, eh?  Senior Roving Naturalist Yvette Méndez is back to help us out:

“Monarch butterflies are orange with black veins that run throughout the wings, white spots towards the edges, and a black body.

“However, they are often confused with the sneaky viceroy butterfly.  The viceroy looks really similar to the monarch, because they are a mimicking butterfly.  They mimic the monarch’s color pattern because the monarch is a poisonous if eaten.  Viceroys are not poisonous, but are so similar in color and pattern to the monarch, that few butterfly-eating critters would risk taking the chance.” 

Copy-cat butterfly
Nevertheless, certain clever humans (and crocs) are able to note one revealing difference between the two:

“Viceroy butterflies all have a black vein along the bottom of their hindwing that connects all the other veins,” continues Méndez.  See below!

monarch butterfly
Monarch with orange and veins, and whatnot.

viceroy
Not a monarch.  A viceroy with the betraying line!

Now that you are all enlightened, go forth and start finding monarchs and non-monarchs!  Post them to Twitter @candidcroc and join in on the game!

Posted: 4/9/2015 3:41:02 PM by Filed under: monarch butterfly, viceroy


Carlita the Croc

I'm Carlita the Croc, here to deliver my candid views on various topics, articles, news, and stories in conservation. For the latest news follow me on Twitter, for striking photos follow me on Instagram.

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