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_antiopa.jpg
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
May 22, 2016 PONYRCR Los Angeles County, California, United States May 24, 2016 Details
May 19, 2016 Turtleblonde Los Angeles County, California, United States May 23, 2016 Details
May 20, 2016 treichard Prince Georges County, Maryland, United States May 22, 2016 Details
April 30, 2016 bobscafe British Columbia, Canada May 13, 2016 Details
May 08, 2016 ezeemonee Ventura County, California, United States May 13, 2016 Details
May 08, 2016 Peggy O Taylor County, Wisconsin, United States May 09, 2016 Details
April 26, 2016 diwalks2 Orange County, California, United States May 02, 2016 Details
April 21, 2016 commentator Ontario, Canada May 01, 2016 Details
April 19, 2016 digginflowers Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, United States April 30, 2016 Details
April 28, 2016 Dyewell Napa County, California, United States April 28, 2016 Details
April 22, 2016 CW Madison County, Virginia, United States April 27, 2016 Details
April 21, 2016 BeaLaporte Ontario, Canada April 22, 2016 Details
April 22, 2016 nmhwilson Sonoma County, California, United States April 22, 2016 Details
April 17, 2016 cdemers Essex County, New York, United States April 19, 2016 Details
April 17, 2016 commentator Ontario, Canada April 18, 2016 Details
April 16, 2016 digginflowers Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States April 18, 2016 Details
April 09, 2016 Michelle.M Los Angeles County, California, United States April 17, 2016 Details
April 14, 2016 DWilde Waldo County, Maine, United States April 15, 2016 Details
April 08, 2016 Sue Orlowski Pend Oreille County, Washington, United States April 14, 2016 Details
April 06, 2016 Sue Orlowski Spokane County, Washington, United States April 14, 2016 Details
April 06, 2016 Sue Orlowski Spokane County, Washington, United States April 11, 2016 Details
April 07, 2016 Crstyrae San Luis Obispo County, California, United States April 08, 2016 Details
April 06, 2016 Tindomul1of9 Queens County, New York, United States April 06, 2016 Details
April 03, 2016 karladaune Pierce County, Washington, United States April 05, 2016 Details
April 02, 2016 Janet Stumpfhauser San Diego County, California, United States April 03, 2016 Details
February 26, 2016 bwilliamson Roosevelt County, New Mexico, United States April 01, 2016 Details
March 29, 2016 Sue Orlowski Spokane County, Washington, United States April 01, 2016 Details
March 29, 2016 Karen Aronson Cook County, Illinois, United States April 01, 2016 Details
March 23, 2016 jmfilley El Paso County, Texas, United States March 31, 2016 Details
March 25, 2016 maggie winchester Riverside County, California, United States March 28, 2016 Details
March 20, 2016 Okole1808 San Diego County, California, United States March 28, 2016 Details
March 26, 2016 CA Ivy (Jon C. Ivy) Cherokee County, Oklahoma, United States March 27, 2016 Details
March 22, 2016 hiker96 Leavenworth County, Kansas, United States March 24, 2016 Details
March 12, 2016 tjrickert Mercer County, Pennsylvania, United States March 23, 2016 Details
March 09, 2016 curtis.lehman Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, United States March 09, 2016 Details
March 06, 2016 cosmic_cat Harrison County, Texas, United States March 06, 2016 Details
March 01, 2016 MAKI Ventura County, California, United States March 04, 2016 Details
March 19, 2014 4oclockwatch San Juan County, Washington, United States February 25, 2016 Details
December 17, 2015 Silverbeard Michoacan de Ocampo, Mexico February 22, 2016 Details
October 21, 2015 SkrentnyJeff Cook County, Illinois, United States February 20, 2016 Details
February 15, 2016 PONYRCR Los Angeles County, California, United States February 18, 2016 Details
February 15, 2016 PONYRCR Los Angeles County, California, United States February 18, 2016 Details
February 08, 2016 cowbug3 Benton County, Oregon, United States February 09, 2016 Details
June 26, 2009 Ilse Gebhard Kalamazoo County, Michigan, United States January 19, 2016 Details
October 08, 2015 Lorelei Michigan, United States October 09, 2015 Details
September 21, 2015 rjcohrs Hancock County, Indiana, United States October 08, 2015 Details
July 10, 2015 wayne13114 Oswego County, New York, United States September 25, 2015 Details
September 16, 2015 Joe Bartok Ontario, Canada September 16, 2015 Details
July 01, 2015 C45 Logan County, Colorado, United States September 14, 2015 Details
September 12, 2015 Chris Blomme Ontario, Canada September 14, 2015 Details