Subject: Dark Winged Beauty
Geographic location of the bug: Ventura, California
Time: 07:27 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Dear Bugman,
I have noticed this beauty on my patio the past few days. It stays close and sometimes pauses briefly to bask in the sunlight. I was hoping to catch a picture of the open wing span, but instead it kept it’s wings together, eventually took flight pausing mid air about 6 inches from my face and then departed.
How you want your letter signed: Melanie in the Irish Chain
Dear Melanie on the Irish Chain,
Thank you so much for your entertaining telephone call describing this beauty, and you actually identified it as a Mourning Cloak during the call. You are absolutely correct. The Mourning Cloak often basks in the sun, and it is rarely seen nectaring from flowers. According to BugGuide: “Adults feed primarily on tree sap (oaks preferred) and rotting fruit; only occasionally on flower nectar.” Your posting lured Daniel back to the site he has ignored for nearly five weeks, and he has never in the eighteen years the site has existed, been away that long, even in the early days of exhausted band width when after about ten days, Daniel could post no more until the first of the next month. Thanks again for our enjoyable morning conversations and for making Daniel realize he really does need to make at least one posting per day. Though the month is nearly over, Daniel never selected a Bug of the Month for May 2020, so since it is the first identification request we have filled since April 21, it is now the Bug of the Month for May 2020.