Morphology

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The Mourning Cloak has a wing span of 2.875 to 3.375 in. Its dark maroon wings are characterized by a ragged creamy yellow margin that is lined on the interior by bright blue iridescent spots. When viewed closely, the wings appear to be iridescent as they reflect purple highlights. A rare variation in the appearance of the dorsal side of the wings, in which the margin is wider than normal and the blue spots may be absent, sometimes occurs. This aberration is a result of the pupa's being exposed to unusually cold temperatures. The ventral surface of the Mourning Cloak is a striated pattern of gray-black outlined by a yellow wing margin similar to that found on its dorsal surface (Holland, 1910; Pyle, 1981; Tveten and Tveten, 1996).

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; bilateral symmetry

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Source: Animal Diversity Web

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