An Old Specimen
Location:  Mt Washington, Los Angeles, CA
July 21, 2012
Today while taking out some garbage for the compost pile, Daniel startled a black butterfly that sailed overhead.  The unusual thing about this butterfly is that it did not appear to have any markings that could be used to distinguish its identity.  When it finally landed, it was apparent that this was a very tattered Mourning Cloak that no longer had its cream wing edges nor its blue spots.  While a specimen like this would never catch the attention of a collector, especially one who wants perfect specimens for display, it nonetheless a wonderful sight for a person who is trying to create habitat for wildlife.  The fact that this individual was able to live for so long as to result in this tattered appearance is evidence that it has what it needs to survive to a ripe old age.  There is a startling difference when you compare this individual to a newly emerged and vibrantly colored Mourning Cloak.  One thing is for sure, whether they are young or old, Mourning Cloaks and Red Admirals love to sun themselves on Daniel’s firewood pile.

Mourning Cloak lives to a ripe old age.

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Location: California

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