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Nymphalis antiopa

Common Name: Mourning Cloak
Nymphalis antiopa
Nymphalis antiopa

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Nymphalidae
Genus: Nymphalis
Species: Nymphalis antiopa

Conservation Status

Identifying Features

The mourning cloak butterfly has a 2-4" wingspan. They are black to purple in color with a yellow border on their wings. Along the yellow they have a row of blue spots.

Habitat & Range

Mourning cloaks are found in forests and open areas. Their range includes most of the United States inlcuding Alaska, Canada, Europe, and parts of Asia.


Adult butterflies will feed off of oak tree sap and rotting fruit. Caterpillars will eat deciduous tree leaves and can be seen in groups.

Life Cycle

Mourning cloaks will hibernate as adults, and emerge in early spring as the snow is just melting. Mating season is in the spring, but adults will stay active throughot the season and lay 2-3 broods of eggs.

Featured image by James Dake


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