Mourning Cloaks are widely distributed and common, seen in about 80% of the United States and just about 100% of Canada. They are flying about as early as February if a warm day arrives. Adults will over-winter.
The caterpillars are black with tiny white specks covering the body. There are red splotches along the upper back and spines. These spines can cause a stinging sensation – do not handle.
The male butterflies are territorial and will battle other males who intrude. They even buzz me, sometimes – now that’s an experience! You can hear the wings as they brush past your head – LOL. Fierce butterflies!
This Mourning Cloak was newly hatched and just beginning to get it’s wing strength. The picture was taken June 28, 2012, in Green Lane, Pennsylvania, USA. The camera used was a Sony DSC H9 set on macro.
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