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
April 13, 2014 Andreajohnst Los Angeles County, California, United States April 17, 2014 Details
April 14, 2014 Red Canoe Penobscot County, Maine, United States April 16, 2014 Details
April 13, 2014 Sue Orlowski Spokane County, Washington, United States April 15, 2014 Details
April 12, 2014 Mike Paterson Ontario, Canada April 13, 2014 Details
April 13, 2014 raymond smith British Columbia, Canada April 13, 2014 Details
April 10, 2014 janeemosher Kitsap County, Washington, United States April 11, 2014 Details
April 09, 2014 brettjforsyth Ontario, Canada April 10, 2014 Details
April 06, 2014 uncleronnie Yakima County, Washington, United States April 09, 2014 Details
April 08, 2014 John Ashley Flathead County, Montana, United States April 08, 2014 Details
March 31, 2014 Martha Veasey Sawyer Montgomery County, Virginia, United States April 07, 2014 Details
April 05, 2014 anniemark Dane County, Wisconsin, United States April 07, 2014 Details
March 31, 2014 Martha Veasey Sawyer Montgomery County, Virginia, United States April 07, 2014 Details
April 06, 2014 stephen stedman Clay County, Tennessee, United States April 07, 2014 Details
April 06, 2014 Pspurrell Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States April 06, 2014 Details
April 02, 2014 Sue Orlowski Adams County, Washington, United States April 04, 2014 Details
April 04, 2014 jfkoza Essex County, Massachusetts, United States April 04, 2014 Details
April 01, 2014 rojo amigo British Columbia, Canada April 03, 2014 Details
April 02, 2014 Sue Orlowski Grant County, Washington, United States April 03, 2014 Details
April 01, 2014 mrcnaturally Westchester County, New York, United States April 01, 2014 Details
March 30, 2014 Doug Bruce Sequatchie County, Tennessee, United States March 31, 2014 Details
March 21, 2014 ridgeboy Jackson County, Florida, United States March 27, 2014 Details
March 24, 2014 scenicoregon Multnomah County, Oregon, United States March 25, 2014 Details
February 20, 2014 sarabseth Alameda County, California, United States March 25, 2014 Details
March 21, 2014 stomlins701 Liberty County, Florida, United States March 23, 2014 Details
March 16, 2014 scastillo1437 San Diego County, California, United States March 21, 2014 Details
March 15, 2014 mdolomieu1 Greene County, Missouri, United States March 18, 2014 Details
March 15, 2014 Doug Bruce Meigs County, Tennessee, United States March 16, 2014 Details
February 28, 2014 skywatcher British Columbia, Canada March 07, 2014 Details
July 05, 2013 julmast Elkhart County, Indiana, United States March 06, 2014 Details
February 22, 2014 Ken Cheeks McCormick County, South Carolina, United States February 24, 2014 Details
February 22, 2014 lorispencer Logan County, Arkansas, United States February 22, 2014 Details
September 04, 2013 BIDEOBOB Monroe County, New York, United States February 14, 2014 Details
August 02, 2013 Bevvt Franklin County, Vermont, United States February 12, 2014 Details
August 02, 2013 Bevvt Franklin County, Vermont, United States February 12, 2014 Details
June 12, 2013 cyric Washington County, Rhode Island, United States February 11, 2014 Details
March 07, 2012 Mike Dillon Cass County, Texas, United States February 06, 2014 Details
November 03, 2013 CMcCarthy Essex County, Massachusetts, United States January 29, 2014 Details
January 11, 2014 PDunwiddie Los Angeles County, California, United States January 24, 2014 Details
January 16, 2014 Ralph S. Carlson Los Angeles County, California, United States January 18, 2014 Details
October 10, 2011 ntdm5791 Morris County, New Jersey, United States January 17, 2014 Details
December 25, 2013 ThatOtherGuy121 Stanislaus County, California, United States December 25, 2013 Details
December 10, 2013 mls113 Orange County, California, United States December 15, 2013 Details
May 30, 2006 Brian Taber James City County, Virginia, United States November 26, 2013 Details
August 07, 2013 mja Island County, Washington, United States November 17, 2013 Details
March 27, 2012 padadida San Diego County, California, United States November 16, 2013 Details
March 27, 2013 Angelaisaprincess Los Angeles County, California, United States November 16, 2013 Details
April 21, 2013 Hootowl13 San Diego County, California, United States November 16, 2013 Details
August 11, 2013 marquy Wayne County, Michigan, United States November 15, 2013 Details
August 31, 2013 earthor Chippewa County, Michigan, United States November 15, 2013 Details
May 08, 2012 Robert Gorman Orange County, California, United States November 11, 2013 Details