Viceroy Butterfly - Limenitis archippus

Viceroy Butterfly – Limenitis archippus

The first tip-off that this might not be a Monarch Butterfly was the size – it wasn’t nearly as large as a Monarch usually is. And it wasn’t a Queen – they have a looser arrangement of spots and a dark spot near the tail. The clincher was the black line  crossing the hind wing in the lower right hand corner of the picture. Sure enough, a Viceroy! Though not an endangered species, they are not seen nearly as often as the Monarch and Queen. And another thing, Monarchs are not seen in Williamson County in mid-July… In fact, the Butterflies and Moths of North America website at http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/checklists?species_type=All&tid=3013 doesn’t even list the Viceroy among the confirmed sightings for Williamson County. Quite the feather in the cap for our little field trip party. Too bad I didn’t have a telephoto lens with me at the time…