"Every man is a borrower and a mimic, life is theatrical and literature a quotation" ~ Ralph Waldo EmersonToday was a perfect day for butterflies... pleasantly warm with a small breeze and low humidity... at least low for here.. under 50%. At one point during the afternoon there were four different varieties of butterflies on my blue caryopteris... all at the same time. I spotted a new variety in our garden... common to the area but not seen here, or at least I don't think so.... well... maybe it is a new variety... hmm. This is where the test comes in. Are these the same butterflies? Male versus female perhaps? The adults find nectar on the same plants... a lot of different butterflies do too.
So, are they the same... are they different and if so.. what makes them different? Look closely and decide... before clicking on the "read more" below... the answer is there.
These are totally different species of butterfly but they look almost alike. One mimics the markings and color of the other as a protective mechanism. The toxins from milkweed are concentrated in the Monarch caterpillar and remain in the adult butterfly; this renders them a poison pill to birds and usually after eating one they will learn to "stay away"!!! Neither the caterpillar nor the adult of the other species is toxic to anything... but the birds don't know that!
In the first picture... the butterfly on the left is the Viceroy, on the right is the Monarch.
In the second picture ... the Viceroy is on top and the Monarch (a male) is in the bottom frame.
Now... who got all the questions correct? Go ahead.. grade your own papers and don't cheat now!
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