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Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa) discovered by Marcel Roy (#556)
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Observed: May 13, 2011 @ 1:00 PM
Posted on: May 14, 2011 @ 2:09 PM (diff: 1 days)
The Mourning Cloak can be found in almost any habitat across Canada because of the wide variety of host plants their larvae feed on.
Where to look – Mourning cloaks often rest on dark tree bark where they are camouflaged and can bask in direct sunlight. They walk down the trunks of trees, particularly oaks, to feed on the sap. They will also feed on rotting fruit, and only occasionally on flower nectar. Also, like many other butterflies, they will look for salts and other nutrients from mud puddles or even from animal droppings.
What to look for – The upper side of the Mourning Cloak is a rich brownish-maroon with a wide, bright yellow border and a row of iridescent blue spots. The under side is brown-black with wavy thin blue-black lines just inside a muddy yellow border.
When to find them – Mourning Cloaks are one of the few butterflies that live through winter as adults. They seek a mate in early spring and die shortly after laying their eggs. New adults emerge in mid-summer and fly into the fall.
During winter,Mourning Cloaks spend the time frozen in "cryo-preservation" in tree cavities, beneath loose tree bark or in unheated buildings. They survive almost anywhere they can fit into, to protect them from winter winds. Adults live 10-11 months and may be our longest lived butterfly.
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