The Mourning Cloak butterfly Nymphalis antiopa is found in all 48 contiguous states and Alaska.

Mourning Cloak Butterfly Nymphalis antiopa

Mourning Cloak Butterfly
Nymphalis antiopa

Mourning Cloak Butterfly Nymphalis antiopa Laying Eggs

Mourning Cloak Butterfly
Laying Eggs on Willow

Mourning Cloak Butterfly Egg on Willow

Mourning Cloak Butterfly
Eggs on Willow

Mourning Cloak Butterfly Young Caterpillars

Mourning Cloak Butterfly
Young Caterpillars

Mourning Cloak Butterfly Young Caterpillars

Mourning Cloak Butterfly
Young Caterpillars

Mourning Cloak Butterfly Young Caterpillars

Mourning Cloak Butterfly
Young Caterpillar

Mourning Cloak Butterfly Caterpillar

Mourning Cloak Butterfly
Caterpillar on Willow

Mourning Cloak Caterpillars Molted Skin Cuticle

All’s OK – Empty Skins
Molted Skin Cuticle

Mourning Cloak Caterpillar on Willow Leaves

Mourning Cloak Caterpillar
On Willow Leaves

Mourning Cloak Butterfly Chrysalis Pupa

Mourning Cloak Butterfly
Chrysalis Pupa

Mourning Cloak Butterfly Chrysalis Pupa

Mourning Cloak Butterfly
Chrysalis Pupa

Mourning Cloak Butterfly Chrysalis Pupa

Mourning Cloak Butterfly
Chrysalis Pupa

Mourning Cloak Chrysalis Color Depends Upon Surroundings

Chrysalis Color
Depends Upon Surroundings

Mourning Cloak Butterfly Nymphalis antiopa

Mourning Cloak Butterfly
Nymphalis antiopa

Mourning Cloak Butterfly Drinking From Fruit Bag

Mourning Cloak Butterfly
Drinking From Fruit Bag

Mourning Cloak Butterfly Sitting on a Board

Mourning Cloak Butterfly
Sitting on a Board

Mourning Cloak butterflies are also known as

Host trees include cottonwood, aspen, birch, willow, elm, and hackberry. On our property in Bradford County, Florida, we have found caterpillars on both willow and hackberry trees. We fed these caterpillars willow, elm, and hackberry.

Although not found often in our area of Florida, for four or five years running (as of 2014) they have been found in Alachua and Bradford counties.

Adult Mourning Cloak butterflies overwinter as adults.

In the spring, adults lay eggs in clusters. Caterpillars are gregarious. They hatch and stay close together on the tree. When they molt, their old skin/cuticle stays on the branch, often looking as if clusters of caterpillars died on the branch.

Tachinid flies are a major problem with Mourning Cloak caterpillars and chrysalises.

Chrysalises range from reddish-brown to brown to gray to black, depending upon the item upon which they pupate.

Adults eat tree sap, rotting fruit, and occasionally flower nectar. They are especially fond of sap of oak trees. They are often found sunning along edges of creeks and rivers.

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