Subject: Mourning Cloak butterfly on hydrangea paniculata ’tardiva’
Location: Naperville, IL
September 6, 2012 10:50 pm
These hydrangeas attract all sorts of butterflies and dragonflies, not to mention bees, wasps, ants, and beetles in late summer. And they provide a nice afternoon backdrop for photographing insects, too. I hope you have a lovely weekend.
Signature: -Dori Eldridge
It is nice to see your photo of a Mourning Cloak nectaring from a hydrangea. According to BugGuide: “Adults feed primarily on tree sap (oaks preferred) and rotting fruit; only occasionally on flower nectar.” This individual will most likely overwinter in some hollow tree or other protected spot, and if you are lucky, you will see it flying about on a sunny spring day when there is still snow on the ground. Since they hibernate as adults, Mourning Cloaks are among the longest lived butterflies.