mourning cloak

(Nymphalis antiopa)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

mourning cloak

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

S5 - Secure

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common

Flight/Season

Mid March to Mid October. One brood emerges in June or July.

Habitat

Wherever host plants are found

Size

2¼ to 4 wingspan

 

Identification

This is a large, dark, brushfooted butterfly. It has a wingspan of 2¼ to 4.

Young butterflies are reddish-brown above with a wide yellow border at the outer margin and conspicuous, iridescent blue submarginal spots. The underside is dark, striated brown with a wide white border at the outer margin. Older individuals in May and June are dark brown above with a wide cream to yellow border at the outer margin and less conspicuous submarginal spots.

The caterpillar is black with much white flecking, a narrow black line down the center, 2 rows of red spots, and numerous long, shiny, black spines.

 
Similar
Species

Unmistakable. No similar species.


Larval Food

Young leaves of mostly willow, but also plains cottonwood (Populus deltoides var. molinifera), quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides), American elm (Ulmus americana), paper birch (Betula papyrifera var. papyrifera), and northern hackberry (Celtis occidentalis).

 
Adult Food

Mostly oak and maple sap, but also other tree sap, rotting fruit, and occasionally flower nectar. Often found at sapsucker holes in the spring.

 
Life Cycle

This is usually the first butterfly seen in the spring because most adults overwinter. It is also one of the longest lived butterflies in Minnesota, living up to 10 months.

Caterpillars live in a communal web.

After the new brood emerges in June or July they enter a period of dormancy (aestivate) similar to hibernation. They fly again in September and October.

Most adults hibernate in the winter in hollow logs, wood piles, and loose bark. Some adults migrate south in the fall.

 
Behavior

 


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 7, 20, 21, 29, 71.

Comments

 


Taxonomy

Order:

Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)

 

Suborder:

Glossata

 

Infraorder:

Neolepidoptera

 

Parvorder:

Heteroneura

 

No Rank:

Ditrysia

 

No Rank:

Obtectomera

 

Superfamily:

Papilionoidea (butterflies [excluding skippers])

 

Family:

Nymphalidae (brush-foots)

 

Subfamily:

Nymphalinae (true brushfoots)

 

Tribe:

Nymphalini

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

camberwell beauty

mourning cloak

mourningcloak butterfly

spiny elm caterpillar (larvae)


 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

aestivate

A period of reduced metabolic activity in the summer, similar to hibernation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

Visitor Photos

   
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Tom Baker


  mourning cloak   mourning cloak
       
  mourning cloak   mourning cloak

       
       

MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos

   
  mourning cloak   mourning cloak
       
  mourning cloak   mourning cloak
       
       

 

Camera

     

Slideshows

   
  Mourning Cloak Butterfly
Andree Reno Sanborn
 
  Mourning Cloak Butterfly  
 
About

Nymphalis antiopa

 
     
  Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa)
Bill Keim
 
  Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa)  
     
  Nymphalis antiopa (Mourning Cloak)
Allen Chartier
 
  Nymphalis antiopa (Mourning Cloak)  
     
  Mourning Cloak butterfly
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
 
  Mourning Cloak butterfly  
     
  Mourning Cloak
jt893x
 
  Mourning Cloak  
     
  Mourning Cloak - Nymphalis antiopa
wetvideocamera
 
   
 
About

Published on Jan 26, 2014

Nymphalis antiopa

 
     

 

slideshow

     

Visitor Videos

   
Share your video of this insect.

     
     

Other Videos

 
  The flight of the Camberwell beauty (Nymphalis antiopa).
Filming VarWild
 
   
 
About

Published on Oct 20, 2013

An extract of a documentary about the Camberwell beauty (Nymphalis antiopa). Discover the life-cycle of this magnificent and difficult butterfly to approach. All the different states of the cycle have been filmed, from the hatching of the egg up to the transformation into a chrysalis and finally the liberation of the butterfly itself in fabulous natural scenery.

For more information visit our website Filming VarWild.

http://www.filming-varwild.com

 
     
  Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa) Cocoon to Butterfly Timelapse
talon4wd
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Mar 31, 2011

I was finally able to see the final stage in the Butterflies life. They were stunning creatures and they let me handle them before they flew off to start thier lives. Pics at the end of vid.

 
     
  Mourning Cloak Butterfly (Nymphalis Antiopa)
NatureBytes
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on May 28, 2009

A special treat is in store for you as you witness Mourning Cloak Caterpillars dance to Indian flute jazz.

www.naturebytesvideo.com

 
     
  [HD] Nymphalis antiopa
BSJTeinopalpus
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 27, 2012

Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa) is easy to identify because of its unique wing markings. The distribution of this species is covering almost all over Eurasia and North America. In Japan this species is confined to the mountains. It appears from middle August when other butterflies have already been worn. Flight is swift and glaceful. It rarely visits flowers, it is usually attracted by tree sap, rotten fruits or animal droppings. This species hibernate as an adult butterfly. In May or June worn butterflies with their wing edge in white are seen.

 
     
  Sorgmantel nymphalis antiopa
asplundlars
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 3, 2013

fjäril Sorgmantel nymphalis antiopa
Music: ccMixter Longing for Tumbleweeds (ft. snowflake)
2011 Admiral Bob Licensed to the public under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ Verify at http://ccmixter.org/files/admiralbob77/33347

 
     

 

Camcorder

         

Visitor Sightings

   
Share your sighting of this insect.

JNS
9/23/2016

Location: Fridley, MN

Found an adult this morning on my three season porch. I had to remove a screen and open a window to release.


JG
3/22/2016

Location: Roseville

Saw an adult in early this afternoon hovering over landscape bark at the base of a maple tree in our south-facing front yard


Annie
2015

Location: Sauk Rapids

I have been seeing these in our neighbor hood all summer. We live in a swampy area with a lot of oak, popples, and willow trees.


Chuck Dick
6/18/2014

Hello: I have one of these in a cocoon on my deck railing. Looking forward to watching it hatch.


Carrie
6/18/2014

Location: Hiawatha Park

Saw it cruising through the baseball infield at Hiawatha Park in Minneapolis.


Paul Martinek
7/29/2013

Location: Douglas Co.

While researching what was eating my willow tree's I seen this email.  I had a quite large infestation of these yesterday.  Thought you might want to add douglas county as your sighting list.


Tom Baker
8/11/2012

 

mourning cloak


Tom Baker
4/10/2010

 

mourning cloak


     
     
 

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