Attributes of Nymphalis antiopa

Mourning Cloak
Nymphalis antiopa (Linnaeus, 1758)

Family: Nymphalidae
Subfamily: Nymphalinae
Identification: Short projections on both wings, borders irregular. Upperside is purple-black with a wide, bright yellow border on outer margins, and a row of iridescent blue spots at the inner edge of the border.
Wing Span: 2 1/4 - 4 inches (5.7 - 10.1 cm).
Life History: Overwintered adults mate in the spring, the males perching in sunny openings during the afternoon to wait for receptive females. Eggs are laid in groups circling twigs of the host plant. Caterpillars live in a communal web and feed together on young leaves, then pupate and emerge as adults in June or July. After feeding briefly, the adults estivate until fall, when they re-emerge to feed and store energy for hibernation. Some adults migrate south in the fall.
Flight: Usually one flight from June-July.
Caterpillar Hosts: Willows including black willow (Salix nigra), weeping willow (S. babylonica), and silky willow (S. sericea); also American elm (Ulmus americana), cottonwood (Populus deltoides), aspen (P. tremuloides), paper birch (Betula papyrifera), and hackberry (Celtis occidentalis). Older caterpillars wander about and may be found on plants that they do not eat.
Adult Food: Mourning Cloaks prefer tree sap, especially that of oaks. They walk down the trunk to the sap and feed head downward. They will also feed on rotting fruit, and only occasionally on flower nectar.
Habitat: Because Mourning Cloaks roam and migrate, they are found almost anywhere that host plants occur including woods, openings, parks, and suburbs; and especially in riparian areas.
Range: All of North America south of the tundra to central Mexico; rarely in the Gulf States and peninsular Florida. Also native to temperate Eurasia. Comments: Adults live 10-11 months and may be our longest lived butterfly.
Conservation: Not required.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: Occasionally may be necessary to control caterpillar damage to shade trees.
Taxonomy Notes:

Images of Nymphalis antiopa

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Nymphalis antiopa - Nymphalis_antiopaSanders.jpg

Nymphalis antiopa - Nymphalis_antiopaSanders.jpg

The map below displays all BAMONA data for this species and has three different data layers:
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*The orange dots on the map provide access to information about the 400 most recently verified sightings of this species. Sometimes, there are several records at the same location. Use the table view to access these records.

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Observation Date Submitter Region Verified Datesort icon
July 23, 2015 Christine Stanke Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, United States March 23, 2017 Details
March 13, 2017 RichHubie Mendocino County, California, United States March 17, 2017 Details
March 08, 2017 ezeemonee Santa Barbara County, California, United States March 13, 2017 Details
February 05, 2013 Shirley Wilkerson Brazos County, Texas, United States March 11, 2017 Details
February 18, 2017 JulieLuetzelschwab Santa Fe County, New Mexico, United States February 28, 2017 Details
January 30, 2017 MAKI Ventura County, California, United States January 31, 2017 Details
October 19, 2016 sh11 Ontario, Canada January 27, 2017 Details
June 25, 2015 sh11 Ontario, Canada January 14, 2017 Details
June 23, 2015 sh11 Ontario, Canada January 14, 2017 Details
February 05, 2012 redfishin Nassau County, Florida, United States January 11, 2017 Details
April 19, 2016 Darlene Webster Pacific County, Washington, United States October 25, 2016 Details
September 22, 2016 Sarah.g Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada October 18, 2016 Details
June 04, 2015 LibbyMegna Douglas County, Kansas, United States October 11, 2016 Details
September 09, 2016 taogirl Alamosa County, Colorado, United States October 02, 2016 Details
August 17, 1964 Todd Stefanic Butte County, Idaho, United States September 20, 2016 Details
August 31, 2016 treichard San Diego County, California, United States September 20, 2016 Details
September 09, 2016 nmaurice Ontario, Canada September 17, 2016 Details
September 09, 2016 N Weasel Madera County, California, United States September 16, 2016 Details
September 11, 2016 Chris Blomme Ontario, Canada September 12, 2016 Details
May 07, 2016 johngor Ontario, Canada September 09, 2016 Details
August 21, 2016 MrCommunistGen San Diego County, California, United States August 23, 2016 Details
April 16, 2016 David Trently Wayne County, Pennsylvania, United States July 30, 2016 Details
June 21, 2016 ncrosbyrd Placer County, California, United States July 25, 2016 Details
June 09, 2016 ncrosbyrd Ventura County, California, United States July 21, 2016 Details
July 17, 2016 PONYRCR Los Angeles County, California, United States July 19, 2016 Details
May 28, 2015 Jeff Thompson Ohio County, Kentucky, United States July 16, 2016 Details
April 16, 2016 hdad58 Coos County, New Hampshire, United States July 13, 2016 Details
July 06, 2016 TragicTales Ontario, Canada July 09, 2016 Details
July 03, 2016 Cherylee Black Ontario, Canada July 04, 2016 Details
June 29, 2016 holla for the environment Ontario, Canada June 30, 2016 Details
April 30, 2016 BeaLaporte Ontario, Canada June 24, 2016 Details
June 19, 2016 BeaLaporte Ontario, Canada June 22, 2016 Details
June 19, 2016 dirb72 Hood River County, Oregon, United States June 20, 2016 Details
June 15, 2016 JamesW San Diego County, California, United States June 19, 2016 Details
March 14, 2016 jetboulder@aol.com Boulder County, Colorado, United States June 19, 2016 Details
June 18, 2016 jvkopple2 Kalkaska County, Michigan, United States June 18, 2016 Details
June 13, 2016 Dwake Orange County, California, United States June 17, 2016 Details
June 03, 2016 Bubblebee San Diego County, California, United States June 17, 2016 Details
June 11, 2016 Dwake Orange County, California, United States June 13, 2016 Details
June 12, 2016 Missbecky Taylor County, Wisconsin, United States June 13, 2016 Details
June 10, 2016 Ryan D. Larson Dane County, Wisconsin, United States June 12, 2016 Details
April 16, 2016 purplechickadee Passaic County, New Jersey, United States June 07, 2016 Details
June 04, 2016 ezeemonee Ventura County, California, United States June 06, 2016 Details
June 01, 2016 ambersheff Rock County, Wisconsin, United States June 05, 2016 Details
June 03, 2016 Diggletini Los Angeles County, California, United States June 04, 2016 Details
May 12, 2016 BCBirdman British Columbia, Canada June 01, 2016 Details
May 31, 2016 PONYRCR Los Angeles County, California, United States June 01, 2016 Details
May 29, 2016 PONYRCR Los Angeles County, California, United States May 30, 2016 Details
May 28, 2016 Jeff Trahan Howard County, Arkansas, United States May 30, 2016 Details
May 22, 2016 PONYRCR Los Angeles County, California, United States May 24, 2016 Details