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.

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
May 27, 2015 Tammy James Cleveland County, Oklahoma, United States May 28, 2015 Details
May 25, 2015 N2Lavin Ulster County, New York, United States May 27, 2015 Details
May 13, 2015 ulr_anna Hamilton County, Ohio, United States May 19, 2015 Details
May 19, 2015 dgreenbee British Columbia, Canada May 19, 2015 Details
May 02, 2015 tom nolan Burlington County, New Jersey, United States May 15, 2015 Details
May 05, 2014 BabcockWebb Nebraska, United States May 14, 2015 Details
May 05, 2014 BabcockWebb Nebraska, United States May 14, 2015 Details
May 12, 2015 sseagrave Sheridan County, Wyoming, United States May 12, 2015 Details
May 02, 2015 Cherylee Black Ontario, Canada May 06, 2015 Details
April 22, 2015 gloriannaj Pacific County, Washington, United States May 05, 2015 Details
May 02, 2015 grosenberry Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, United States May 05, 2015 Details
April 11, 2015 tomfishburn Cuyahoga County, Ohio, United States May 05, 2015 Details
May 01, 2015 John Schwartz Kane County, Illinois, United States May 03, 2015 Details
March 31, 2015 aarongunnar Dunn County, Wisconsin, United States May 01, 2015 Details
April 28, 2015 jhauser42 Erie County, New York, United States April 30, 2015 Details
April 29, 2015 Sue Orlowski Spokane County, Washington, United States April 29, 2015 Details
April 01, 2015 Sydney English Lake County, Ohio, United States April 28, 2015 Details
February 26, 2015 Mike Witkowski Sonoma County, California, United States April 28, 2015 Details
April 28, 2015 Carol Thornton-Anderson Orange County, Indiana, United States April 28, 2015 Details
April 26, 2015 Kzfisherman McHenry County, Illinois, United States April 28, 2015 Details
April 21, 2015 butterflyman11 Spokane County, Washington, United States April 24, 2015 Details
April 13, 2015 Sue Orlowski Spokane County, Washington, United States April 24, 2015 Details
April 16, 2015 Sue Orlowski Pend Oreille County, Washington, United States April 24, 2015 Details
April 18, 2015 giojimmy Wayne County, Michigan, United States April 20, 2015 Details
April 19, 2015 dirb72 Multnomah County, Oregon, United States April 20, 2015 Details
April 19, 2015 pdxgene711 Clackamas County, Oregon, United States April 20, 2015 Details
April 18, 2015 annfro Mason County, Washington, United States April 20, 2015 Details
April 18, 2015 BeaLaporte Ontario, Canada April 20, 2015 Details
April 19, 2015 BeaLaporte Ontario, Canada April 20, 2015 Details
April 19, 2015 BeaLaporte Ontario, Canada April 20, 2015 Details
April 07, 2015 jwilkinson Howard County, Maryland, United States April 19, 2015 Details
April 12, 2015 bleulucy Sonoma County, California, United States April 17, 2015 Details
April 17, 2015 stephen stedman Putnam County, Tennessee, United States April 17, 2015 Details
April 13, 2015 Sepp Meier Carroll County, New Hampshire, United States April 16, 2015 Details
April 15, 2015 Cherylee Black Ontario, Canada April 16, 2015 Details
April 12, 2015 SkrentnyJeff Cook County, Illinois, United States April 16, 2015 Details
April 16, 2015 BeaLaporte Ontario, Canada April 16, 2015 Details
April 12, 2015 BeaLaporte Ontario, Canada April 14, 2015 Details
April 12, 2015 Chris Blomme Ontario, Canada April 13, 2015 Details
April 12, 2015 Cherylee Black Ontario, Canada April 13, 2015 Details
April 13, 2015 johnniee5 Cook County, Illinois, United States April 13, 2015 Details
April 10, 2015 ezeemonee Ventura County, California, United States April 12, 2015 Details
April 05, 2015 anniemark Dane County, Wisconsin, United States April 06, 2015 Details
March 31, 2015 NMWildflower Torrance County, New Mexico, United States April 03, 2015 Details
March 21, 2015 rebeccafm Los Angeles County, California, United States March 27, 2015 Details
March 15, 2015 AJ Trently Benton County, Tennessee, United States March 24, 2015 Details
March 16, 2015 cblazo Franklin County, Pennsylvania, United States March 16, 2015 Details
March 05, 2015 Adriana4766 Cumberland County, North Carolina, United States March 08, 2015 Details
March 07, 2015 Linda Fink Yamhill County, Oregon, United States March 08, 2015 Details
June 09, 1968 Indy Entomologist Allen County, Indiana, United States February 23, 2015 Details