Baby Mourning Cloaks

I found several Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa) caterpillars and chrysalises on a small restroom strcuture in Mason park these last few days. This one is just getting started:

Black and red spiky caterpillar attached to wall

I’m not sure how long it takes one to spin a cocoon. This caterpillar and another were in exactly the same positions 18 hours later.

Here’s the finished cocoon from one who got started a little earlier. If it had been on a tree instead of a brick building I would have walked right past it without giving it a second look:

Cocoon on brick

This is what it will look like when it emerges:

Mourning Cloak butterfly with wings spread

3 Responses to “Baby Mourning Cloaks”

  1. Mokka mit Schlag » One Thing I Like About Irvine Says:

    […] Mokka mit Schlag » Birding « Baby Mourning Cloaks […]

  2. crystal Says:

    my caterpiller has been in an unfinished cocoon ( the bottom section is cocoon an the top is exposed caterpilla) for a week and a half. is it dead or alive if alive? if still alive long will it take to hatch?

  3. Leila Teacher Says:

    My class orders caterpillars to watch them turn into butterflies, and exposed caterpillar in cocoon is common. They take just over 2 weeks to hatch usually. Very cool.

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