Nymphalis a. antiopa

Mourning Cloak

A widespread and well-known butterfly, and one of my favorites. It overwinters as an adult and can live a long time - perhaps a year - in that stage. Males patrol and I've found it to be a species that will perch on my arm or head in my yard, where I put in a Chinese Elm so I can raise them. Larvae are gregarious, and apparently birds find them delicious.

Nymphalis antiopa was named by Linnaeus in 1758, with a Type Locality in Sweden. We call it a Mourning Cloak in the USA; in the UK (where it is said to be uncommon) it is a "Camberwell Beauty".

Nymphalis antiopa - Mourning Cloak
A Mourning Cloak, Nymphalis antiopa, in my garden. May 29, 2006.
Nymphalis antiopa - Mourning Cloak
Mourning Cloak raised in my backyard in Long Beach the day it emerged, April 9, 2011. It came from the pupa at the bottom of this page.
Nymphalis antiopa - Mourning Cloak
Close-up of a Mourning Cloak in my garden, May 17, 2006.
Nymphalis antiopa - Mourning Cloak
Dorsal close-up, also in my garden, May 17, 2009.
Egg cluster of Nymphalis antiopa - Mourning Cloak - on a Chinese Elm tree
A cluster of eggs from a Mourning Cloak from the same branch as the tree below in my garden. July 22, 2018.
Young larvae of Nymphalis antiopa - Mourning Cloak on a Chinese Elm tree
Early instar larvae on a Chinese Elm leaf in my garden in Long Beach. I planted this tree just for this species. July 22, 2018.
Larva of Nymphalis antiopa - Mourning Cloak
Larva of a Mourning Cloak, El Dorado Park in Long Beach, March 16, 2011.
Larva of Nymphalis antiopa - Mourning Cloak
Larva of a Mourning Cloak, this photo showing the legs. El Dorado Park in Long Beach, March 16, 2011. Looks like he's attached and ready to pupate.
Chrysalis of Nymphalis antiopa - Mourning Cloak
Mourning Cloak pupae (chrysalids) of the Mourning Cloak. I found these at El Dorado Park in Long Beach, March 19, 2011, on a fence and transferred them to a stick.
Chrysalis of Nymphalis antiopa - Mourning Cloak
Another Mourning Cloak pupa. This one is from a larva that I found at El Dorado Park same day as above, and it pupated two days later.
Chrysalis of Nymphalis antiopa - Mourning Cloak
The same Mourning Cloak pupa the day before emergence, April 8, 2011. It spent 19 days in the pupal stage.

©Dennis Walker