one of these things is not like the other

One of these things doesn’t belong.

Can you tell which thing is not like the other by the time,

I finish this song?

Spoilers Below 😉

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The butterfly below is not a monarch (like the other two), it’s a viceroy.  And, for the purpose of our game, does not belong.  Recent-ish studies suggest that both monarchs and viceroys are toxic to predators. But get this, the type of toxin is different in each species. This type of adaptation is called mutual mimicry.  Toxic butterflies, put on your orange and black stripes!

Look carefully, the viceroy has a line across its bottom wings. A monarch does not. 

The monarch below lacks the “extra” line of the viceroy. It has two scent glands identifying it as male. Good luck buddy.

My butterfly pics over the years from mid and southeast Missouri.  Learn more about mutual or Mullerian mimicry here.

PS – Up until a few months ago, I didn’t know viceroys were toxic. I was under the impression they made delicious bird meals and in an attempt to deter their would-be predators faked being a toxic monarch. Don’t make my mistake, click on the link above and learn about Mullerian mimicry.

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