What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Damaged Butterfly
Location: West Los Angeles
June 25, 2012 6:45 pm
Hi Bugman,
This guy’s had a rough time of it, but was ably to fly quite adeptly. At first I thought it was a Funereal Duskywing, but it has white trim on both front & rear wings and all the pictures I can find of the FD have white only in their rear wings?
Can you please identify it?
Thx, Jeff
Signature: Jeff bremer

Mourning Cloak

Hi Jeff,
The Funereal Duskywing is a much smaller butterfly than this old, tattered Mourning Cloak.  Mourning Cloaks are long lived butterflies that are found throughout much of the northern hemisphere.  In England they are known as Camberwell Beauties.  In places where there is snow during the winter, Mourning Cloaks pass the winter by hibernating in hollow trees and other sheltered locations.  In California, they are also know to hibernate during our rainy season and during the hot dry weather as well.  They are a harbinger of spring, often being the first butterfly seen after winter and they are even known to fly on sunny days when there is still snow on the ground.  Mourning Cloaks have no problem finding flowers in California, but in places where it snows, their first meal after emerging from hibernation is more likely to be sap that runs from trees that have been damaged.  Sadly, the condition of your specimen did not allow you to appreciate the beauty of this lovely butterfly.  A Mourning Cloak in prime form is a velvety beauty with blue spots and cream trim on the wing edges.  Mourning Cloak Caterpillars feed on leaves of willow and elm and they can be very numerous at times.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: California

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