These pictures of a Queen butterfly were provided to us by David Mimlitch. David photographed this butterfly at Trammell Crow Park in Dallas, Texas.
Queen butterflies are interesting because they are colored in a way that mimics the pattern on both Viceroys and Monarch Butterflies. Viceroys and Monarch Butterflies are probably the most well known mimics. The two butterflies look very similar to each other.
For years it was assumed that the Viceroy mimicked the Monarch Butterfly in order to benefit from the aversion predators had to eating them. Evidently Monarch Butterflies are very foul tasting to most predators.
New research suggests that Viceroys are just as unpleasant tasting as Monarch, which means that both butterflies benefit by reinforcing each others warning coloration. This type of mimicry is know as Müllerian Mimicry by scientists.
Queen butterflies, like the one in the photos below, benefit from this similarity in appearance as well.