Mourning Cloak

Nymphalis antiopa

Spirited and territorially minded, a Mourning Cloak likes a high perch from which to survey its domain. It will alight on almost anything—perhaps even you or your outstretched finger, if you stand very still. As if to match the adult’s temperament, the black caterpillars are boldly adorned with spikes and brick-red spots running down their backs.

Fun Fact:
This striking butterfly is so territorial, it will chase other butterflies and even dive-bomb intruding birds.

What’s for Lunch:
Leaves of elm, willow, or poplar for larvae; nectar for adults

Where’s Home:
Riparian scrub