Subject: Butterfly Alaska
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
July 11, 2016 1:08 pm
My daughter and I found this butterfly floating through our backyard. I think they are attracted to all of our flowers and flowering trees and shrubs. I also think they like some of the water than gets sprayed all over the yard by my toddler. I love butterflies and usually only see the yellow swallowtails. I’ve never seen one like this before. (Taken in Anchorage ,Alaska May 2016)
This lovely butterfly is a Mourning Cloak, and we doubt it is attracted to the flowers in your yard. Mourning Cloaks are more unusual in their dietary preferences. They prefer rotting fruit and sap oozing from trees to nectar derived from blossoms. Mourning Cloaks are also among the most long lived butterflies because those that mature toward the end of summer will hibernate as adults. They are known to fly about on sunny winter days while there is still snow on the ground to search for tree sap. We would love to have you submit images of your Alaskan Swallowtails as well.