This is a Red-Spotted Purple that landed next to me while I was discussing spiders with my daughter. (my previous Garden Spider post) Instinctively I snapped a photo and sent it to her. This gem lingered long enough for me to take several pictures and visually touch every beautiful little detail of his wings and body.
This was part of her educated response to me (she is enrolled in veterinarian school)
“There are actually other types of butterflies called viceroy butterfly that mimic the look of other butterflies. They mock ones that release toxins that are gross to predators. The viceroys do not have toxins so through evolution it mimicked the look of ones that do as a form of protection.” I love that my daughter is pursuing her dream and working towards becoming the reason she was put on this earth. The monarch has always been my favorite butterfly, that is the reason she sent this photo back to me in her response. As it turns out the Viceroy and Monarch are my favorites.
The red-spotted purple, Limenitis arthemis astyanax (Fabricius), is a beautiful forest butterfly that is also commonly seen in wooded suburban areas. It is considered to be a Batesian mimic (viceroy) of the poisonous pipevine swallowtail, Battus philenor (Linnaeus), with which it is sympatric.
For more information, and facts click the link Nature never ceases to amaze with its intricate designs and beauty.