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September 18, 2012 / Rae Spencer

Monarch or Viceroy?

Since monarch butterflies and viceroy butterflies are both rare in the yard, I haven’t had much practice identifying them. So when a gusty headwind forced this butterfly to perch on the deck this morning, I labelled the photos “Monarch” without paying much attention to the details. After a bit of research, I changed the label to viceroy. The broad stripe that crosses the hindwing’s network of other stripes seems to be the key.

What do you think? Monarch or viceroy?


  1. Betty Hayes Albright / Sep 18 2012 4:35 PM

    Whichever they are, they’re beautiful!

  2. Gillian / Sep 24 2012 10:20 AM

    It’s definitely a Viceroy, and you’re right, that black band across the hindwings is the key. Viceroys also tend to be smaller than monarchs, though I hesitate to identify either species in flight unless I can see that cross-stripe!

  3. bardessdmdenton / Oct 1 2012 5:08 PM

    You have captured its magnificence!

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