Viceroy Butterfly

The Viceroy Butterfly is a butterfly that is found in the United States, Canada and in Mexico.

What Does the Viceroy Butterfly Look Like?

The Viceroy Butterfly is a butterfly that has wings up to 3.2 inches long.  The Viceroy butterfly has an orange and black pattern all over its wings and the rest of the wings are orange.

The Viceroy Butterfly has black lines and veins that are on the back wings.

Where Does the Viceroy Butterfly Live?

The Viceroy Butterfly lives in North America in places like Kentucky, Florida, Georgia, Texas, along the Gulf Coast, around the Atlantic Coast and Nova Scotia.

The habitat of the Viceroy Butterfly is that they like areas that are full of shrubs, moist areas such as swamps, wet meadows, roadsides, thickets and valleys.

What Does the Viceroy Butterfly Eat?

The Viceroy Butterfly likes to drink nectar from thistles, milkweeds and common flowers in the area.

The caterpillar likes to eat willows, cottonwoods, and other flowers.  The caterpillars will eat salicylic acid to make their predators sick if they eat them.


The Viceroy Butterfly has predators such as other bugs, mammals, amphibians, but most of their predators are birds.


The Viceroy Butterfly protects itself with a mimicry which is when the wings make the predator think that it is poisonous because of the colors of it.  The predators will think that if they eat the Viceroy that they will be sick.

The Viceroy Butterfly caterpillar eats salicylic acid from plants and when it does this it makes the predator sick.

Behavior of the Viceroy Butterfly

Males like to hang around plants that they eat from to find a female.  Females lay eggs at the edge of the plants and they will lay about 3 eggs per plant and then move to another plant.

Caterpillars of the Viceroy Butterfly eats their eggshells after they are hatched and then they will eat leaves afterwards.

Viceroy Butterfly

Caterpillars will make a nest of leaf bits, silk and dung and will hang this so that it scares off the predators.

When is the Viceroy Butterfly Most Active?

The Viceroy Butterfly is most active during May through September in most areas and all year around in Florida.

More Facts About Viceroy Butterfly’s:

  • The Viceroy Butterfly is very similar to the Monarch in color but the difference is that the Viceroy has smaller wings and their body and color patterns are the same.
  • The coloring of the Viceroy mimics the colors of the Monarch Butterfly.
  • The Viceroy Butterfly has what is called polymorphism.  This means that the butterfly might have different coloring depending on where it lives.
  • It takes the egg of the Viceroy Butterfly up to 9 days before it will hatch.
  • The Viceroy Butterfly lives up to 14 days.
  • Some of the plants that the Viceroy Butterfly drinks nectar from is the honeydew, carrion, fungi, aster, joe-pye weed and shepherd’s needle.

What Did You Learn?

What is the Viceroy Butterfly?
The Viceroy Butterfly is a butterfly that is found in North America, Canada and Mexico.

What other butterfly does the Viceroy Butterfly look like?
The Viceroy Butterfly looks like the Monarch Butterfly.

What is it called when a butterfly has different colorings based on where it lives?
When a butterfly has different coloring based on where it lives, it is called polymorphism.

What is the biggest predator of the Viceroy Butterfly?
The Viceroy Butterfly’s biggest predators are birds.

Why does the caterpillar eat plants that have salicylic acid?
The caterpillar eats plants that have salicylic acid so that it can have a bad taste if the predator tries to eat it.

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