ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The State Insect of Montana

Updated on January 4, 2013
Source

State Insect of Montana -- The Mourning Cloak

I am always amazed when I get a chance to see a mourning cloak up close. When they're on the wing they appear to be little more than a medium-sized dark gray butterfly, but once an individual lands on a sunny patch of moist earth, the true glory of its markings can be seen. The ground color is a deep, almost iridescent purplish-brown, bordered by a band of royal blue-black with bright lavender spots; the entire margin of the wings is a pale yellow. Underneath, it's a different story. The wings are mottled gray and black, which gives rise to its common name -- the colors are so somber that early entomologists compared it to the dark cloaks worn by mourners at a funeral.

This butterfly has a nearly world-wide distribution, but it is exceedingly rare in the UK, where it is known as "the Camberwell Beauty." A much better name, I think, for one of the most beautiful of all butterflies.

Mourning Cloak Showing Underside of Wings

Source

Nymphalis antiopa

The scientific name for the mourning cloak is Nymphalis antiopa. It belongs to a large family of butterflies known as the Nymphalidae. The jagged edges of the mourning cloak's wings are an indication that it belongs to a further subset called the angle wings. These butterflies occur throughout temperate areas of the world and include some of the most familiar butterflies, including tortoise shells and the peacock butterfly.

The mourning cloak was previously known as "the grand surprise."

Mourning Cloak Caterpillar -- AKA the Spiny Elm Caterpillar

Source

The Mourning Cloak -- Early Stages

The mourning cloak's caterpillar eats elm, and is sometimes known as "the spiny elm caterpillar." It's black, spiny, and has red spots running along its back. The chrysalis is angular and looks very much like a dried leaf.

The mourning cloak often hibernates over the winter in a sheltered place, or inside a garage or shed. It is typically one of the first butterflies on the wing once the weather warms up.

Check Out My Cool Bug Blog!

Source

The State Butterfly of Montana

In 2001 the state of Montana officially adopted the mourning cloak as the state butterfly. While many other states played it safe and went with the monarch, Montana's state butterfly was an inspired choice. Hopefully it will draw people to notice this often-overlooked beauty.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • davenmidtown profile image

      David Stillwell 

      5 years ago from Sacramento, California

      I always think it a lucky day when I find a Morning Cloak Butterfly. We don't see them very often anymore, but they are rich like velvet when settled in the sun. Nice article... am glad Montana chose this one.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)