You know the story: a harmless species “evolves” to resemble a harmful species and therefore is less likely to be eaten. It’s called Batesian mimicry, named for an English naturalist who spent too much time in the Amazon.
The mimicking of the Monarch by the Viceroy has been used as the standard example for probably a hundred years. The story goes that the Monarch tastes bad because its caterpillars eat milkweed leaves containing nasty cardiac glycoside compounds. These toxins are carried over as the larvae pupate and then metamorphose into the adults. So monarch butterflies taste awful. Supposedly, Viceroys taste good because their caterpillars feed on willow leaves.
The standard story is that the Viceroy (the one with the black stripe across its wing) “evolved” (by random mutations and natural selection, of course) to resemble the Monarch and thus escapes predation because birds associate the orange and black coloration with bad taste.
Then, as happens with so many (especially evolutionary) just-so stories, someone did one too many experiments and falsified the tale. Abdomens (wings omitted to remove the color clues) of both Monarchs and Viceroys were offered to birds—and the birds gagged on both. Turned out that Viceroys taste as awful as Monarchs!
Oh, so it’s not Batesian mimicry after all—let’s call it Muellerian mimicry, in which two harmful species both “evolve” warning colors to discourage predators.
So tell all the stories you want to, and change them to fit some real evidence. The fact is that these two rather unrelated butterflies—with very different looking caterpillars, which feed on different plants—didn’t “evolve” in the first place, nor did any other butterflies or insects or any other life forms. Molecules-to-man Darwinian evolution is an out-dated 19th century just-so story that is being dismantled by real 21st century science almost on a daily basis.
Let’s enjoy God’s creatures for what they really are: evidence of His intricate handiwork—and convicters of those who refuse to see them as such but who choose to worship the creature instead of the Creator who made them (Romans 1:18-25).
Soli Deo Gloria