If you want to attract butterflies to your yard, echinacea, or coneflower is a good choice to add to your border. On Sunday, I was able to photograph both Monarchs (Danaus plexippus) and Viceroys (Limenitis archippus) as they visited the echinacea in the garden. These very similar butterflies are easily confused. Last September, I wrote about telling Viceroys and Monarchs apart and will repeat an excerpt here. You can read the full post and view more photographs of Viceroys and Monarchs by following this link to Royal Butterflies.
Viceroys are a bit smaller than Monarchs but the easiest way to tell them apart is to look for the black line that loops across the Viceroy’s hindwing. This line doesn’t appear on a Monarch’s wing. The line can be spotted whether the wings are open or closed. Viceroys aren’t closely related to Monarchs, but derive some protection from predators by mimicking the colour of the larger butterfly, well-known for its noxious qualities. It is now thought that the Viceroy may be equally distasteful to predators in its own right.