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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Mourning Cloak

You know it's spring when you spot a Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa)!


Mourning Cloaks spend their winters frozen in"cryo-preservation" in tree cavities,
 beneath loose tree bark or in unheated buildings.
Wherever they can fit to protect themselves from the winter winds,
 they will almost always survive.


During the early spring months, they will seek a mate,
lay their eggs,
and then, unfortunately, they die.

They are thought to be the longest living butterfly
with a lifespan of 10 - 11 months.

For more interesting Nature Notes, visit Rambling Woods.


23 comments:

Greenearth said...

Beautiful images.

Just Ramblin' said...

I tried to leave a comment a minute ago and I don't know what happened. So, if it shows up, disregard.
Did you take these pictures! They are fantastic! The edge of the wings looks so delicate almost like lace.
Thanks for sharing. Nola

Stephanie said...

Gorgeous. I love going to the butterfly exhibit at our conservatory.

Hugh said...

Yes, many naturalists, including me, take springtime pictures of Mourning Cloaks--but yours totally rock (which seems an incorrect vernacular when discussing butterflies).

Rambling Woods said...

I didn't know that how they overwintered which makes it all the more amazing that they survive. Perfect for Nature Notes...Michelle

Kay said...

I'm glad spring has come for you! The butterfly photos are lovely as your photos always are. Thank you for posting them and for the interesting details about these beautiful butterflies. (It's so windy here that all our butterflies are looking raggedy.)
-kay

Rose said...

I am not familiar with this butterfly...but it sure is a beauty.

EG Wow said...

Oh, nice! I saw a couple of mourning cloaks in the forest near me a couple of days ago too. YAY!

Susan said...

Hi Karen,

What gorgeous photos of this beauty. I had no idea that any butterflies hibernated - fascinating! Below is a link to a butterfly conservatory we've visited, it's really cool. Not sure if you have anything like it in your neck of the woods, but if you're ever down in the lower 48 it's worth the trip to MA.

Happy Easter! Susan

http://www.magicwings.com/

John said...

Hi Karen,

WOW !! Now that is some Butterfly, so delicate looking. You take some brilliant photos, well done. Looking foward to our Butterflies that are just slowly appearing now. John

Gena G. said...

Wow. some very nice pics there. keep it up.

Johnny Nutcase said...

So pretty! Excellent shots,i love how you got the bee in there in the second one, also - nicely done :)

Unseen Rajasthan said...

Beautiful,lovely and fantastic shot !!Unseen Rajasthan

hrg at sacredruminations said...

Lovely Spring photos ;-)
Hope you had a Happy Easter.
Hugs and blessings,

Carrie P. said...

Wow, I learned something new today. I did not know that a butterfly would live that long. Thanks for sharing.

A piece of news said...

I also didn't know a butterfly lived that long. It's a beautiful thing, too.

The Abbot said...

A beautiful photographic image. It is a shame they have such a short life

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Karen: That is a neat butterfly, I have never seen one.

NatureFootstep said...

this butterfly is so beautiful. It is rather rare in Sweden. Our name for it is about the same as yours.

It's Time to Live said...

We are almost to the season! Morning Cloaks will be hatching and arriving soon here too.

magiceye said...

brillant captures!!!

audreyscountrycrafts said...

Beautiful photos!!
LOVE butterflies :)

mandapanda said...

How beautiful they are! What an amazing butterfly too!