Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | February 10, 2010

12. Monarch or Viceroy? 

Viceroy Butterfly (not a monarch)

The Viceroy Butterfly is an orange and black butterfly that mimics the monarch’s coloring, but it is a different insect.

In 1990 the viceroy was named the state butterfly of Kentucky.

Predators avoid adding the poisonous monarch to their menus, and the similar-looking viceroy apparently benefits from similar treatment. Viceroy butterflies look so much like monarchs that predators avoid them too.

Lighter monarch wing undersides

Visually there are three primary differences between the two butterflies. The viceroy has a black line crossing its wings (see picture at right), and the undersides of the viceroy wings look like the topside. For the monarch, the underside of the wing is much lighter than the topside. Finally, the monarch is a bigger butterfly than the viceroy.

The viceroy caterpillar and chrysalis look nothing like the monarch caterpillar and chrysalis (see pictures in preceding posts).

Viceroy butterfly caterpillar

Viceroy butterfly chrysalis

The viceroy cat is brown and olive with bristly twig-like appendages behind its head. It eats willow, poplar, and cottonwood–very different from the monarch’s diet of milkweed.

The caterpillar and chrysalis look like plant fungi or dead leaves or bird droppings. This resemblance helps protect them from predators.

Would one expect an evolutionary process to start with 2 very different caterpillars with very different diets that pupate in very different chrysalises and yet produce very similar looking butterflies? This similarity would not be predicted by evolutionary theory. Again it suggests there must have been a designer that intentionally engineered this.

Read the prequels in this series on Monarch Butterflies and their significance for the creation/evolution controversy:
1. Insect GPS
2. Monarch Butterflies
3. Caterpillar or Butterfly—Which Was First?
4. Monarch Caterpillars
5. Morphing Monarchs
6. Changing Chrysalis
7. Emerging Monarchs
8. Butterfly vs. Caterpillar
9. Migrating Monarchs
10. Navigating Monarchs
11. Monarchs on Noah’s Ark?

Read the sequel:
13. Butterfly Evolution?

Soli Deo Gloria.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday February 10, 2010 A.D.

Read my February 2010 Bible-Science column
Manhood and Monogamy.

And Yahweh made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and Yahweh saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:25)

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