|Mourning Cloak- Chris Barnhart|
|Mourning Cloak Caterpillars|
In a normal year, I will see Mourning Cloaks infrequently, but this spring they are almost as common as other dark butterflies such as Spicebush and Pipevine Swallowtails. It will be interesting to see what happens to these abundant populations later this summer. If nature balances as usual, we may see fat birds and an increase in the tiny wasps which lay their eggs on caterpillars.
|Caterpillars drop when startled|
Tom Riley reports observations on the early migration of southern species in the FOG News Blog. Not only are they arriving early but some species are now breeding farther north as might be expected with the warming temperatures. Who knows, some day we may be advertising "Ozarks- the new Costa Rica."
* How do you count 300 butterflies? I learned this trick from our Master Naturalist Buck Keagy. You count their antennae and divide by two.