Butterfly Visit

Yesterday while in the Cherry Creek Habitat I noticed a stunning butterfly sunning itself on the insect hotel.  Identifying it as a Mourning Cloak, I researched this butterfly and found some interesting facts.

Mourning Cloak butterfly

Mourning Cloak butterfly










Mourning Cloaks are one of the few butterflies that survive the winter as an adult.  They find a sheltered location like a hollow tree, under shutters or shingles, behind a loose piece of bark or in a wood pile.  Our insect hotel would be the perfect location for this kind of butterfly to overwinter or seek protection from the cold nights we had experienced the past few weeks.

I also learned that the eggs are laid in masses on cottonwood, willow and hackberry trees.  We have all three of these trees located behind our insect hotel we built last fall.

I am so pleased our habitat is already attracting insect visitors.  This is what we had hoped for when we started our project. We are planting more shrubs, perennials, herbs and annual flowers this week.



About MJ Frogge

UNL Extension Horticulturist Lancaster County

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s