names for mourning cloak

Barbara Barnett bbarnett at
Wed Apr 12 10:34:22 EDT 2000

I would like to find out why the name Mourning Cloak is used in American
Englishas a common name for N. antiopa?  I know that in Britain it is
called Camberwell Beauty.  It is names in several European languages
which have basically the same meaning as "mourning" or "funeral"
"cloak", "cape" or "coat":  (examples: German
Trauermantel; Dutch, Rouwmantel; Danish Sorgekabe).  In French it is
called Le Morio.  Does the French word have any connection to Latin
"morio" which means roughly buffoon, monster, imbecile?

I would not be surprised that the name Mourning Cloak was chosen
because  of the pattern and color of the wings.  Could someone suggest a
good reference on the etymology of this name?

Also I would like to know more about the status of this species in
Europe.  I read on a web site that N. antiopa is listed as extinct in
Netherlands and Belgium, and is listed as endangered in Switzerland.

Many thanks in advance,

Clyde Kessler

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