Friday, April 18, 2014

Mourning Cloak Butterfly

When I made yesterday's post of over wintering butterflies I had not yet been able to capture a photograph of a Mourning Cloak Butterfly (Nymphalis antiopa).  This afternoon, while walking the trails of Metea County Park, I saw a M. Cloak on the pathway.  Like the Red Admiral Butterfly, Question Mark Butterfly, and Eastern Comma Butterfly, the Mourning Cloak over winters as an adult by finding shelter under tree bark and tree openings and enter a state of frozen hibernation until the warm winds of spring.
This butterfly made four or five flights while I was taking pictures but always returned to the same area of the trail even with me standing within a few feet of it's resting spot.

As I continued my walk the butterfly flew ahead a few yards and was joined by another Mourning Cloak and together began an upward, spiraling flight typical of the aerial courtship prior to mating.  The last time I saw the butterflies they were about 50' above the trail flying together.
#FieldNotesFriday         Photograghs: Metea County Park, Allen Co., IN     4/18/2014