Mourning Cloak Butterfly - Nymphalis antiopa by MotherNature

Mourning Cloak Butterfly - Nymphalis antiopa by 

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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I love nature, science, poetry, prose, art, music – you name it! Now that I’m retired, time is mine to spend as I wish (pretty much), and I wish to take pictures of our natural world.

Bringing the outdoors in for others to see, especially those who may not get the opportunity to wander next to a pond, fish at the beach, or tramp in the woods, is a pleasure. I hope to build a window to the wonders of nature that fill our everyday lives.

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  • davvi
    davvialmost 3 years ago

    how lovely it is!

  • Thank you so much, Davvi – your work is lovely, especially your butterflies!

    – MotherNature

  • Sandra Lee Woods
    Sandra Lee Woodsalmost 3 years ago

    Gloriouswhat a great capture

  • They are so incredibly beautiful, especially when they are “new”:>) Thanks for the comment and fave, Sandra – made my day:>)

    – MotherNature

  • Ray Clarke
    Ray Clarkealmost 3 years ago

  • MotherNature
    MotherNaturealmost 3 years ago

    I sure do appreciate the fave, Sophia:>) Thanks!

  • missmoneypenny
    missmoneypennyalmost 3 years ago

    What a beautiful butterfly – perfectly captured

  • Thank you most kindly for the comment and the fave!

    – MotherNature

  • Ralph de Zilva
    Ralph de Zilvaover 2 years ago

    What a superb capture, love its colours.

  • Thank you, Ralph:>)

    – MotherNature

  • jesika
    jesikaover 2 years ago

    I have only seen one of these exquisite butterflies in my entire life and I still remember that day, September 17th 2006. Hubby & I had been to a local nature reserve, I opened the patio door – and there it was, on the buddleia. He stayed about 5 minutes, sadly always wings closed. I trembled with excitement and do even now, thinking about this very rare visitor to Britain. On a good year, a dozen may be recorded! They are called Camberwell Beauty after the village in which they were first seen and recorded over 200 years ago.
    Lovely to see this beautiful insect & image

  • I can well understand how excited you were! I happened upon a magnificent silk moth (probably a Cecropia) in the woods, and it was almost done pumping up it’s wings. I started to shake, forgot to press the “SET” button on the camera, couldn’t make the adjustments work, and it flew away – DARN! I was so afraid it would fly before I got a shot and it was such an amazing and rare moment – SIGH! It’s lovely to hear you did get that one-in-a-thousand opportunity to see one:>) Thank you for sharing this wonderful experience!

    – MotherNature

  • ArtOfE
    ArtOfEover 1 year ago

    Fantastic shot, love the colors and texture, the wholeness of it is like an artwork in itself!

  • They are really lovely in the sunlight Thank you so much for coming by and commenting; I’m grateful for the fave, too!

    – MotherNature

  • MrBennettKent
    MrBennettKent9 months ago

    Lovely shot of this fine butterfly

    it is quite a rarity in the UK and goes by the name of the Camberwell Beauty here. Impressive macro work :0)

  • I like the name Camberwell Beauty much better:>) We see these flying on warm days i late winer and very early spring, then again later on. Thank you for this generous compliment, MrBennettKent!

    – MotherNature

  • Rivendell7
    Rivendell76 months ago

    Wow Carol!!! In Britain as a child I dreamed of seeing one of these, being a serious butterfly-fanatic from age 6 or so!! Here they were called Camberwell Beauty butterflies and became extinct many years ago. To see a real one is still a big blast! There have been none in this country for nearly a century! Gorgeous image, Fave!!!
    Dave ;-)

  • They are so brash – almost no fear. I’d hoped to get a really nice picture this year (with the new Canon DSLR) but our butterflies were few and far between. There were a few Mourning CLoaks but they avoided me too well:>)

    Sometimes a species thought to be extinct is not. Wouldn’t it be grand if yo discovered one in some remote location!!!

    – MotherNature

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