Wisconsin Native Caterpillars
Genus-Species: Leminitis archippus
Description: Resembles bird droppings in all stages.
May be mottled brown or green; has creamy blotches and two knobby horns on thorax. Partially
grown caterpillars from the third brood spend the winter in a specially rolled leaf called a
hibernaculum that they silk to a branch. Feeding and development resumes that following spring.
Note: To distinguish Viceroy caterpillars from Red-Spotted Purple caterpillars, look for spiked
rather than rounded projections behind the head.
Chrysalis: Shiny brown and white. Abdomen is paler.
Thorax has a a large, knob-like projection. Also resembles a bird dropping.
Host Plants: Trees in the willow family (Salicaceae)
including Willows (Salix species), and Poplars and Cottonwoods (Populus species)
Habitat: Wetland areas, especially along streams, where
willows, its host plants are found.
Comments: The Viceroy is a mimic of the Monarch and
can easily be confused with it, especially in flight. The Viceroy is smaller, is found along wetland
areas where its host plants, willows, are found, and has a dark postmedian line on the hindwing
that can be seen from above or below. This butterfly, like the Monarch, is also found commonly
Caterpillars come in many colors, shapes, and sizes. Some caterpillars are quite hairy,
while others are smooth. Despite differences between species, though, all caterpillars
share certain morphological features.
Take this quick quiz and see how much you know about caterpillars. This quiz is intended for fun, in
a random-facts-can-be-cool kind of way.
How does this magic happen? Learn about metamorphosis - the process of transformation from an
immature form to an adult bitterfly.