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Mourning Cloak - Nymphalis antiopa

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Size 2 - 3"
Egg pale
Caterpillar Black with a white dusting, red spots on back with rows of branched bristles.
Host / Food Elm, Willow, Poplar, Hackberry and Rose
Broods 2 broods in north, perhaps 3 in south.
Habitat Just about everywhere, forest edges, rivers, shorelines, roadsides, meadows and fields.
Range North America, south to Northern South America

The Mourning Cloak has always been my favorite butterfly. Back in my teens my friends and I got into collecting butterflies. It was great fun tramping through the fields chasing them. What I didn't particularly like was having to kill them, then virtually crucifying them to make them ready for mounting and show. One morning we were getting ready to go out what we called 'hunting' butterflies when a Mourning Cloak landed on my wrist. It hung on to me for over two hours and wouldn't fly away. I took it as a sign not to intentionally kill anymore butterflies. I try to take pictures instead. (Lepidopterists' Society forgive me.)

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