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Camberwell Beauty - imago - Thatcham - 25-Jul-08 (1) {REARED}
Wingspan
Male: 76 - 86mm
Female: 78 - 88mm
Photo © Pete Eeles
Camberwell Beauty

Nymphalis antiopa
Number: 59.028
B&F No.: 1596
Family:Nymphalidae (Swainson, 1827)
Subfamily:Nymphalinae (Swainson, 1827)
Tribe:Nymphalini (Swainson, 1827)
Genus:Nymphalis (Kluk, 1780)
Subgenus: 
Species:antiopa (Linnaeus, 1758)
Rare Migrant
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  Introduction  

The Camberwell Beauty is a rare migrant to the British Isles, originating in Scandinavia and mainland Europe. In some years there is a relatively-large influx of individuals, as occurred in 1846, 1872, 1947, 1976, 1995 and 2006, where individuals were reported throughout the British Isles. Like many migrants, this butterfly does not maintain a sustainable breeding population here since mating only occurs after hibernation and those adults that do manage to overwinter successfully are so few in number that the chances of finding a mate is small. None of the immature stages has ever been found in the wild in the British Isles.

The Aurelian by Moses Harris, published in 1766, gives this butterfly the name "The Grand Surprize" or "Camberwell Beauty", based on 2 individuals that were caught in Cold Arbour Lane near Camberwell in 1748. In America, this butterfly is known as the Mourning Cloak. Although there have been sightings from many parts of the British Isles, most records are from eastern counties.

Nymphalis antiopa

This species was first defined in Linnaeus (1758) as shown here (type locality: Sweden, America).


Camberwell Beauty - imago - Newbury - 29-Aug-06 (2) [Paul Olive]
Male
Photo © Paul Olive
Camberwell Beauty - imago - Thatcham - 20-Sep-07 (1205) {REARED}
Male Underside
Photo © Pete Eeles
Camberwell Beauty - imago - Unknown location - 2008 [REARED] [Nigel Venters]
Female
Photo © Nigel Venters
Camberwell Beauty (Mating couple) - Alpes-Maritimes - 1 April 2010
Female Underside
Photo © CFB

  Phenology  

Although the adults have been seen in every month of the year, immigrants start to arrive in June and July, with a definite peak of sightings in August and September. Some of these adults go into hibernation and are sometimes disturbed from their hibernation site, such as a log pile or outbuilding. A small proportion of hibernating adults survive until the following year. This happened quite recently when several individuals from the 2006 influx were seen in early 2007. There is one brood each year.


The chart(s) above have been correlated with the phenology plot below, taken from the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme. The blue line gives average counts over the full data set from 1976 to date, and the red line gives the average for the last year.


  Habitat  

This butterfly is a great wanderer and is often seen in gardens feeding on rotting fruit, such as plums. The same individual will often remain in the same location for several days. In the spring the adults will feed from sallow flowers and sap runs.

  Larval Foodplants  

The primary larval foodplants are Elms (various) (Ulmus spp.), Poplars (various) (Populus spp.) and Willows (various) (Salix spp.).

  Nectar Sources  

Description to be completed

  Imago  

This is a distinctive butterfly, even in flight, as the white wing borders are unmistakable. The adult is a solitary insect and, as such, migrates singly rather that in the swarms associated with other migrant species.


Camberwell Beauty - imago - Thatcham - 16-Sep-07 (1199) {REARED}
Photo © Pete Eeles
16-Sep-2007
Camberwell Beauty - imago - Thatcham - 20-Sep-07 (1205) {REARED}
Photo © Pete Eeles
20-Sep-2007
Camberwell Beauty - imago - Thatcham - 20-Sep-07 (1208) {REARED}
Photo © Pete Eeles
20-Sep-2007
Camberwell Beauty - imago - Thatcham - 25-Jul-08 (1) {REARED}
Photo © Pete Eeles
25-Jul-2008
Camberwell Beauty - imago - Minsmere RSPB Reserve, Suffolk - 17-Aug-06 (2) [James Wright]
Photo © James Wright
Camberwell Beauty - imago - Minsmere RSPB Reserve, Suffolk - 17-Aug-06 [James Wright]
Photo © James Wright
Camberwell Beauty - imago - Newbury - 29-Aug-06 (2) [Paul Olive]
Photo © Paul Olive
Camberwell Beauty - imago - Newbury - 29-Aug-06 [Paul Olive]
Photo © Paul Olive
Camberwell Beauty - imago - Unknown location - 2008 [REARED] [Nigel Venters]
Photo © Nigel Venters
Camberwell Beauty (Mating couple) - Alpes-Maritimes - 1 April 2010
Photo © CFB
01-Apr-2010
Camberwell Beauty - Alpes-Maritimes - 25 March 2012
Photo © CFB
25-Mar-2012

  Aberrations  

Description to be completed.

  Ovum  

Eggs are laid in clusters around a twig of the foodplant. The size of the clusters varies considerably and may contain any number of eggs, usually between 30 and 250.


Camberwell Beauty - ovum - Unknown location - 2008 (2) [REARED] [Nigel Venters]
Photo © Nigel Venters
Camberwell Beauty - ovum - Unknown location - 2008 (3) [REARED] [Nigel Venters]
Photo © Nigel Venters
Camberwell Beauty - ovum - Unknown location - 2008 (4) [REARED] [Nigel Venters]
Photo © Nigel Venters
Camberwell Beauty - ovum - Unknown location - 2008 [REARED] [Nigel Venters]
Photo © Nigel Venters
Camberwell Beauty - ovum - Unknown location - Unknown date (2) [REARED] [Nigel Venters]
Photo © Nigel Venters
Camberwell Beauty - ovum - Unknown location - Unknown date (3) [REARED] [Nigel Venters]
Photo © Nigel Venters
Camberwell Beauty - ovum - Unknown location - Unknown date [REARED] [Nigel Venters]
Photo © Nigel Venters

  Larva  

Larvae feed gregariously but disperse just prior to pupation, where they may travel quite some distance.


Camberwell Beauty - larva - Thatcham - 02-Jul-08 (1) {REARED}
Photo © Pete Eeles
02-Jul-2008
Camberwell Beauty - larva - Thatcham - 23-Aug-07 (1180) {REARED}
Photo © Pete Eeles
23-Aug-2007
Camberwell Beauty - larva - Thatcham - 25-Aug-07 (2) {REARED}
Photo © Pete Eeles
25-Aug-2007
Camberwell Beauty - larva - Thatcham - 25-Aug-07 (3) {REARED}
Photo © Pete Eeles
25-Aug-2007
Camberwell Beauty - larva - Unknown location - 2008 [REARED] [Nigel Venters]
Photo © Nigel Venters
Camberwell Beauty - larva - Unknown location - Unknown date (2) [REARED] [Nigel Venters]
Photo © Nigel Venters
Camberwell Beauty - larva - Unknown location - Unknown date [REARED] [Nigel Venters]
Photo © Nigel Venters

  Pupa  

The pupa hangs upside-side attached by its cremaster to a leaf stem or twig. This stage lasts around 3 weeks.


Camberwell Beauty - pupa - Thatcham - 04-Sep-07 (1189)
Photo © Pete Eeles
04-Sep-2007
Camberwell Beauty - pupa - Thatcham - 13-Jul-08 (5) {REARED}
Photo © Pete Eeles
13-Jul-2008

  Similar Species  

No similar species found.

  Videos  

Video © Gerd Lintzmeyer
Trauermantel im Zeitzer Forst 2009
Video © Gerd Lintzmeyer
Raupen des Trauermantel
Video © Filming VarWild
The flight of the Camberwell beauty (Nymphalis antiopa).
Video © Sjaak van Beek
Rouwmantel - Camberwell Beauty

  Sites  

No sites found.

  Conservation Status  

No conservation action is relevant for this species.

  Links  

The following links provide additional information on this butterfly.

  References  

The species description provided here references the following publications:

ReferenceDetails
Linnaeus (1758) Linnaeus, C.: Systema Naturae. Edn.10. 1758.

  Copyright © Peter Eeles 2002-2014
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