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Viceroy butterflies mimic Monarch butterflies. Monarchs are mimics too. What do they mimic?


There are different kinds of mimicry. Batesian mimicry is when a harmless organism imitates a harmful one. For example, there are flies that have the same shape and color as bees. For a long time, we thought that Viceroy butterflies used Batesian mimicry, but recently scientists have discovered that Viceroys are just as toxic to birds as Monarchs are. This is a case of Müllerian mimicry, where two harmful species mimic each other. A predator that is harmed by either will then avoid both. Viceroys and Monarchs mimic each other.