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

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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
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
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