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_antiopaKS-StevensJune24_06Carol_Adams-cropped.jpg

Nymphalis antiopa - Nymphalis_antiopaKS-StevensJune24_06Carol_Adams-cropped.jpg
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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.

By default, the fifty most recently verified sightings are below. Sort by Observation Date to see the most recent sightings, or filter the sightings by region to get a regional list.

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Observation Date Submitter Region Verified Datesort icon
July 26, 2014 juliereid Ontario, Canada July 28, 2014 Details
July 27, 2014 juliereid Ontario, Canada July 28, 2014 Details
July 23, 2014 Cherylee Black Ontario, Canada July 27, 2014 Details
May 16, 2014 Carol Thornton-Anderson Orange County, Indiana, United States July 25, 2014 Details
July 23, 2014 Cocoah83 St Joseph County, Indiana, United States July 23, 2014 Details
June 12, 2013 dougpa Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, United States July 23, 2014 Details
July 22, 2014 gpstewart King County, Washington, United States July 22, 2014 Details
June 16, 2014 Nikkib02 Woodbury County, Iowa, United States July 21, 2014 Details
July 08, 2014 kevtechno Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States July 21, 2014 Details
July 20, 2014 Cherylee Black Ontario, Canada July 21, 2014 Details
July 18, 2014 juliereid Ontario, Canada July 18, 2014 Details
June 16, 2014 Sean Werle Franklin County, Massachusetts, United States July 17, 2014 Details
July 09, 2014 Linda Dressler Grant County, Wisconsin, United States July 16, 2014 Details
July 14, 2014 juliereid Ontario, Canada July 14, 2014 Details
July 12, 2014 Daryl Hutton Ontario, Canada July 13, 2014 Details
July 12, 2014 juliereid Ontario, Canada July 13, 2014 Details
July 06, 2014 bethjpalik Itasca County, Minnesota, United States July 12, 2014 Details
July 11, 2014 johngor Ontario, Canada July 12, 2014 Details
July 05, 2014 treichard Sussex County, New Jersey, United States July 11, 2014 Details
July 06, 2014 NigelBI Washington (Block Island) County, Rhode Island, United States July 06, 2014 Details
July 04, 2014 Cherylee Black Ontario, Canada July 05, 2014 Details
July 05, 2014 juliereid Ontario, Canada July 05, 2014 Details
June 15, 2014 krancmm Dakota County, Minnesota, United States July 03, 2014 Details
June 22, 2014 stormyeyes99 Sussex County, New Jersey, United States July 03, 2014 Details
June 11, 2014 razer9672 Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States July 02, 2014 Details
June 27, 2014 Terp67 Hillsdale County, Michigan, United States July 01, 2014 Details
June 13, 2014 Lissa Forliti-Aska Anoka County, Minnesota, United States June 25, 2014 Details
June 24, 2014 hcorps Snohomish County, Washington, United States June 25, 2014 Details
June 22, 2014 Doug Bruce Anderson County, Tennessee, United States June 24, 2014 Details
June 22, 2014 duebici Yancey County, North Carolina, United States June 23, 2014 Details
June 27, 2013 koutie Sussex County, New Jersey, United States June 22, 2014 Details
June 20, 2014 Cinna British Columbia, Canada June 21, 2014 Details
June 20, 2014 KM Socal Orange County, California, United States June 20, 2014 Details
May 16, 2014 janazak Yukon Territory, Canada June 16, 2014 Details
June 07, 2014 Sue Orlowski Lincoln County, Washington, United States June 15, 2014 Details
June 10, 2014 bluepoodle Wisconsin, United States June 13, 2014 Details
June 10, 2014 victoria deguzman Orange County, California, United States June 11, 2014 Details
June 06, 2014 dgluckman Whatcom County, Washington, United States June 09, 2014 Details
May 20, 2014 toddewen Ontario, Canada June 09, 2014 Details
May 25, 2014 mdolomieu1 Franklin County, Arkansas, United States June 08, 2014 Details
June 01, 2014 dschiebe Summit County, Ohio, United States June 05, 2014 Details
May 31, 2014 allelopath Santa Fe County, New Mexico, United States June 03, 2014 Details
June 01, 2014 owlgirls British Columbia, Canada June 03, 2014 Details
May 30, 2014 Cherylee Black Ontario, Canada May 31, 2014 Details
May 30, 2014 elvislovar Ventura County, California, United States May 30, 2014 Details
May 27, 2014 John Ashley Flathead County, Montana, United States May 28, 2014 Details
May 12, 2014 fenrislorsrai Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States May 25, 2014 Details
May 17, 2014 Scolopendra St Louis County, Missouri, United States May 23, 2014 Details
May 20, 2014 Cherylee Black Ontario, Canada May 21, 2014 Details
May 20, 2014 kinuko Snohomish County, Washington, United States May 21, 2014 Details