Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Wednesday Explorers Club ~ meet a bug
Meet the Mourning Cloak butterfly. It's one of the few insects that sticks around for the winter, hibernating in tree cavities, beneath loose bark, or in unheated buildings. They'll hide away anywhere they fit as long as the place protects them from winter winds and keeps then out of sight from predators - birds and squirrels.
Mourning Cloaks overwinter as adults. The spend the winter in "cryo-preservation", replacing water in their bodies with glycerol which acts as an antifreeze. You can read more about Mourning Cloaks and other critters that spend the winter as icicles here.
When the weather warms, the Mourning Cloaks will flit about, looking for mates. You might even see them out in the snow!