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Viceroy Butterfly (Limenitis archippus)

 

Viceroy Butterfly

Limenitis archippus

 

 

Limenitis archippus.​. (Photo by Eric Whetmore). (Kansas: Sedgwick County. Oak Park, Wichita. 37°42'21.72"N , 97°20'53.24"W, August 2011). 

 

 

Limenitis archippus.​. (Photo by Eric Whetmore). (Kansas: Sedgwick County. Oak Park, Wichita. 37°42'21.72"N , 97°20'53.24"W, August 2011). 

 

 

Limenitis archippus.​. (Photo by Eric Whetmore). (Kansas: Sedgwick County. Oak Park, Wichita. 37°42'21.72"N , 97°20'53.24"W, August 2011). 

 

 

 

Limenitis archippus.​. (Photo by Eric Whetmore). (Kansas: Sedgwick County. Oak Park, Wichita. 37°42'21.72"N , 97°20'53.24"W, August 2011). 

 

 

Limenitis archippus.​. (Photo by Eric Whetmore). (Kansas: Sedgwick County. Oak Park, Wichita. 37°42'21.72"N , 97°20'53.24"W, August 2011). 

 

 

​Caterpillar Diagnosis: Average length of about 37 mm, with defined segments. Large, green, pale to brown, bi-lobed and spiny head. Body pinkish to greenish to brownish—overall looks like bird droppings. Two prominent brown, spiked tubercules arising from second segment, as well as short, spiny tubercules in pairs irregularly along body.

 

 

 

Adult Butterfly Diagnosis: Large orange and black butterfly with 65-70 mm wingspan. Wings brownish to bright orange, with black veining. Resembles the Monarch butterfly but smaller, and differs on hindwing: dark blue to black postmedian line and only a single line of black spots on margin (Seen below: (1) Monarch (2) Viceroy). Forewings contain two white spots near wing-tips.

 

Limenitis archippus. (Copyright 2009 D. Gordon E. Robertson, From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Viceroy_2.jpg ).

 

 

Limenitis archippus.( Copyright © 2009 Robert Lord Zimlich. From: http://bugguide.net/node/view/288357)

 

 

Danaus plexippus(1) vs. Limenitis archippus (2). (Copyright © 2006 Chris Wirth) From: http://bugguide.net/node/view/43528. )

 

 

Life History: Diurnal. Adult lays only a small number of eggs (usually less than 5) on foodplant leaves near the tips.  Caterpillars form tents/balls of silk, plant matter and other available miscellaneous matter such as dung and twigs; caterpillars use this shelter to overwinter. Active in Spring, pupating several weeks into the season. Usually two generations annually. Adults seem to enjoy gliding, holding its wings horizontally often during flight.

 

 

Distribution: Common throughout the contiguous lower United States; 

Common distribution of Eumorpha fasciata in the United States (Shown in light blue; adapted by Eric

Whetmore from ten.wikipedia.org).

 

 

Habitat: Anywhere foodplants grow-typically moist environments, wetlands and woodland.

 

Foodplants: Commonly feeds plants of Salicacae family: Willow (Salix), Poplar(Populus), and Cottonwood (Populus).

 

Conservation Status: Unknown

 

Interesting Recent Publication:

"Isolation, Identification, and Quantification of Potential Defensive Compounds in the Viceroy Butterfly and its Larval Host–Plant, Carolina Willow"

Kathleen L. PrudicSmriti KheraAnikó Sólyom and Barbara N. Timmermann. 2007.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/bk318w80n60h4840/fulltext.html

 

 

Links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viceroy_Butterfly

http://bugguide.net/node/view/548

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Limenitis-archippus

 

 

References:

Baker, Whiteford Lee. 1972. Eastern Forest Insects. United States Department of Agriculture and Forest Service Miscellaneous Publication No. 1175, Washington, D.C.

National Audubon Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders. 1997. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, NY.

Ross, H, & Arnett, J. 2000. American Insects. 2nd Ed. CRC Press LLC, New York, NY.

Wagner, David L. 2005. Caterpillars of Eastern North America: A  Guide to Identification and Natural History. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.

 

 

 

Submitted by: Eric Whetmore, November 2011

 

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