Mourning Cloak (8)
|Look how pretty this one is! I have seen it few days ago flying near my garage but I didn't manage to make photo, and today I went to some pretty place called Lubosnia, there's river Widawka, and it's really beautiful and quiet place (when people aren't spending their time there). I made few photos of it, but this one is most beautiful. I've seen many other beautiful specimens there, like Common Kingfisher and more butterflies from Nymphalis family. I made few photos of Kingfisher but they are not good enough, I was far away from it but I managed to get closer (like 5-7 m) but well, it's small bird and my camera couldn't do much there plus it was kinda dark place, I will upload it in few days prolly. Also I am moving to my sister's place near Baltic so get prepared for some amazing sunsets at the sea.|
Nymphalis antiopa, known as the Mourning Cloak in North America and the Camberwell Beauty in Britain, is a large butterfly native to Eurasia and North America. See also Anglewing butterflies. The immature form of this species is sometimes known as the spiny elm caterpillar. Other older names for this species include Grand Surprise and White Petticoat. A powerful flier, this species is sometimes found in areas far from its usual range during migration. It is also the State Insect of Montana.
ymphalis antiopa has a wingspan of 62–75 mm. The upper side of the butterfly is colored in a very dark red, with a bright, yellowish border around the wings. There is a darker band with bright blue spots between the border and the dark red inner side. Sexes are similar, although the females are slightly larger.
These butterflies lay eggs in clusters around twigs of their favored food plants, in Europe, generally Grey Willow (Salix cinerea) and in North America, generally Black Willow (Salix nigra) but also other willow species, as well as poplar, elm, birch, and hackberry. The larvae feed gregariously, and are black and spiny, with fine white speckles, and a row of red spots running down the back. They disperse to pupate and emerge after about three weeks. Soon after emergence, they will disperse further from their breeding grounds in order to find food (sometimes nectar, but more commonly tree sap) to build up fat stores for hibernation, and will often enter parks and gardens to do so. They are single-brooded and hibernate as adults.
Throughout its range, this species is generally considered a butterfly of woodlands, though it may occasionally be found in drier areas such as the deserts of western North America. During migration, they may be found in almost any habitat. The Mourning Cloak was adopted as the state butterfly of the State of Montana in 2001.