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Photo#92893
Red-spotted or Viceroy? - Limenitis archippus

Red-spotted or Viceroy? - Limenitis archippus
Wichita, Sedgwick County, Kansas, USA
September 10, 2006
Can you tell whether this is a Red-spotted or a Viceroy. I think Viceroy, but I'm not sure. Thank you for your help.

Images of this individual: tag all
Red-spotted or Viceroy? - Limenitis archippus Red-spotted or Viceroy? - Limenitis archippus

Moved
Moved from Viceroy.

Requested information...
The caterpillar fed on cottonwood growing near a creek. I've seen both the Red-spotted and Viceroy adults there. I've added an image of the chrysalis, in case that helps. Didn't think to do it before, sorry. I raised this from the time it was small without any problem, but it disintegrated in the chrysalis for some reason. Does anyone know why that would happen?

Tony Thomas may give this a try
based on the size and location of the spike clusters, but it would be very helpful to him if you could describe the area where you found it and the plant species nearby. an oak-hickory woodland? an open wetland full of small willows?? something different?

 
My thoughts
Where the 2 species are sympatric (as here) I'm beginning to think that the caterpillars can be positively identified only by direct association with an adult. That is, by rearing from an egg laid by a known female or by rearing a larva to an adult.
Because of their large ranges it's likely that there is sufficient variation within each species that characters used to separate the species may vary from one region to another.
My best guess is this one is a Viceroy.

 
Thank you...
...I appreciate the information. Hopefully I'll have better luck rearing the next one.

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