The wings are orange. They have black veins and black wing edges. There is a black band across the hind wing (bottom wing). This band can sometimes be or missing if the butterfly lives in the southwestern United States. In Florida, the Viceroy is dark reddish brown instead of orange. The orange Viceroys mimic the Monarch (Danaus plexippus). The reddish brown Viceroys mimic the Queen (Danaus gilippus) and the Soldier (Danaus eresimus). The wingspan ranges from 6.6 to 7.6 cm (2.6 to 3 in).
Similar species [change]
The Monarch is larger. It does not have the black band across the hind wing.
The Queen is larger. It does not have black veins.
The Soldier is larger. It has very thin black veins.
Flight period [change]
The Viceroy can be found from June to July in northern Canada. It can be found from May to October in southern Canada and the northern United States It is found all year in southern Florida. In the southwestern United States, it is seen from April to November.
This butterfly is found in a wide range of wet, open places such as water edges, wet meadows, and freshwater marshes.
Life cycle [change]
The female lays her eggs singly. They are laid at the tip of the host plant leaf (the host plant is the plant that the caterpillar feeds on). The egg is pale green or pale yellow. It turns gray later. The caterpillar feeds at night. It mimics a bird dropping. It is white, brown, black, and olive green. There are two greenish bumps on the thorax. There are also two spines near the head. The chrysalis also mimics a bird dropping. It is white, brown, and black. There is a large brownish bump on the abdomen. The caterpillar hibernates in a leaf shelter. It has 1 brood (a group of offspring) in northern Canada, and 2-3 broods in southern Canada and the United States.
Host plants [change]
Here is a list of host plants that the Viceroy caterpillar feeds on:
- Populus alba - White Poplar
- Populus balsamifera - Balsam Poplar
- Populus deltoides - Eastern Cottonwood
- Populus fremontii - Fremon Cottonwood
- Populus grandidentata - Bigtooth Aspen
- Populus heterophylla - Swamp Cottonwood
- Populus nigra - Lombardy Poplar
- Populus tremuloides - Quaking Aspen
- Salix caroliniana - Coastal Plain Willow
- Salix cordata - Heartleaf Willow
- Salix discolor - Pussy Willow
- Salix exigua - Narrowleaf Willow
- Salix interior - Sandbar Willow
- Salix nigra - Black Willow
- Salix sericea - Silky Willow 
- Jim P. Brock and Kenn Kaufman (2003) Butterflies of North America. Houghton Mifflin, New York, NY. ISBN 0804720134
- Ernest M. Shull (1987). The Butterflies of Indiana. Indiana Academy of Science. ISBN 0-253-31292-2
- Rich Cech and Guy Tudor (2005). Butterflies of the East Coast. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. ISBN 0-691-09055-6
- James A. Scott (1986). The Butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA. ISBN 0-8047-2013-4
- Bob Stewart, Priscilla Brodkin and Hank Brodkin (2001). Butterflies of Arizona. West Coast Lady Press, Arcata, CA. ISBN 0-9663072-1-6
- David L. Wagner (2005). Caterpillars of Eastern North America. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. ISBN 0-691-12144-3
Other websites [change]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Limenitis archippus|
|Wikispecies has information on: Limenitis archippus.|