Mimicry in Butterflies - Viceroy vs Monarch

As a defensive measure, some harmless species of animals mimic features of dangerous species to deter predators. This is known as batesian mimicry.

In this example, the viceroy butterfly (top) has evolved to look similar to the toxic monarch butterfly (bottom). However, it has reported that the viceroy is in fact more unpalatable than the monarch butterfly, which makes this case Müllerian mimicry.

Müllerian mimicry differs from batesian mimicry in that both species are dangerous.

Images: D. Gordon E. Robertson, Kenneth Dwain Harrelson

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