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Morning Cloak Butterfly
Photograph - Digital Image
Morning Cloak Butterfly
Nymphalis antiopa has a wingspan of 62–75 mm. The upper side of the butterfly is colored in a very dark red, with a bright, yellowish border around the wings. There is a darker band with bright blue spots between the border and the dark red inner side. Sexes are similar, although the females are slightly larger.
These butterflies lay eggs in clusters around twigs of their favored food plants, in Europe, generally Grey Willow and in North America, generally Black Willow species, as well as poplar, elm, birch and hackberry. The larvae feed gregariously, and are black and spiny, with fine white speckles, and a row of red spots running down the back. They disperse to pupate and emerge after about three weeks. Soon after emergence, they will disperse further from their breeding grounds in order to find food (sometimes nectar, but more commonly tree sap) to build up fat stores for hibernation, and will often enter parks and gardens to do so. They are single-brooded and hibernate as adults.
Throughout its range, this species is generally considered a butterfly of woodlands, though it may occasionally be found in drier areas such as the deserts of western North America. During migration, they may be found in almost any habitat.Appletons New Butterfly Gardens of Wisconsin
Magnificent potential! Appleton's new Butterfly Gardens of Wisconsin finally opened its doors to the public on July 13-14th, 2013. Two weeks after the grand opening we arrived to view beautifully landscaped and manicured grounds; a huge butterfly maze in center of 2 acres of praire flower field, with mowed pathways; a viewing tower; beautiful nature center and a huge butterfly house. We were greeted at the front door of the nature center by co-owner Jack Voight. Marty Voight also a co-owner personally greeted us at the front door of the butterfly house. Jack and Marty both assured us that the grounds were a work in progress and humbly invited us back to watch them grow with the gardens. 200 butterflies were released for the grand opening and although, through natural selection, only several still survived we thoroghly enjoyed ourselves viewing and capturing images of both the butterflies that remained and the prairie flowers you see here. Want to know more: http://www.butterflygardensofwisconsin.com
July 30th, 2013
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