Viceroy Butterfly; Limenitis archippus

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Viceroy Butterfly
Limenitis archippus


A Viceroy Limenitis archippus eats fruit in the garden.
A Viceroy drinks decaying lantana seed covering.
Poisonous to animals, this 'fruit' is a tasty meal to a Viceroy butterfly.
Five Viceroys drink nectar from blooms of water hemlock.
This was the only time I witnessed Viceroys drink nectar.
A Viceroy female lays an egg,.
Click on photo for closer view.
Viceroys always lay their eggs on the tip of a leaf or on the tip of a broken portion of a leaf.
A microscope reveals details of a Viceroy's egg that our eyes cannot see alone.
A hatchling Viceroy eats the tip of the leaf,
leaving only the vien.
Viceroy and Red-spotted Purples arrange bits of a leaf
as a dangling ball below the leaf.
A Viceroy is molting into second instar.
A Viceroy has molted. Its skin is behind it on the stem.
When preparing to molt, caterpillars draw their heads into the skin just behind the head capsule.
In this photo, the caterpillar on the right has a bulge behind it's head capsule. This bulge is the head. On the left is a caterpillar which has finished molting and the new, larger head capsule is revealed.
Several instars of Viceroys. Click to enlarge and see the hatchling caterpillar size (lower right on the leaf vein) compared to the fifth instar caterpillar size.
This Viceroy caterpillar is resting in a classic Viceroy pose, with its abdomen in the air.
Viceroys spend the winter as a caterpillar in a hiberculum. The caterpillar sews a leaf on a stem, cuts the leaf and rolls it into a tight tube, then spends the winter in that tube called a hiberculum.
A Viceroy caterpillar.
A Viceroy caterpillar hangs in a J preparing to pupate into a chrysalis.
A Viceroy pupa (chrysalis).