Hackberry Emperor

Asterocampa celtis

Hackberry Emporer, Aserocampa celtis, photo © by Mike Plagens

Observed in Madera Canyon, Sta. Rita Mountains, Arizona, USA. 10 Sept 2010. This is a female.

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Hackberry butterflies are among the most frequently observed butterflies by hikers through sycamore canyons. They alight on the ground a few meters ahead, then continue down the trail again as the hiker approaches. Usually these ground perchers are males busy defending a prime sunny spot that is often nearby a Net-leaf Hackberry. That is the host plant for the females to lay eggs upon; the males are intent on intercepting them. Males have narrower forewings than the females.

Emperors do not visit flowers, but sometimes visit sap-filled wounds on trees or carrion. The larvae (caterpillars) can be found on the leaves of hackberry trees.

Net-leaf Hackberry

Net-leaf Hackberry

Nymphalidae -- Brush-footed Butterfly Family

More Information:

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Arizona Naturalist
Sycamore Canyons
Invertebrates in Arizona's Sycamore Canyons


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 5 October 2013