Asterocampa celtis

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Hackberry Emperor
Hackberry Emperor, Megan McCarty46.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Nymphalidae
Genus: Asterocampa
Species: A. celtis
Binomial name
Asterocampa celtis
(Boisduval & Leconte, 1835)
Asterocampa celtis range map.PNG

The Hackberry Emperor (Asterocampa celtis) is a North American butterfly that belongs to the family of brushfooted butterflies, Nymphalidae.[1]


The upper side of the wings is mostly gray-brown or orange-brown. The fore wing subterminal area has one or two eyespots, sometimes with blue centers. The underside of the wings is either tan or light gray-brown. The hind wings have a row of black, yellow-ringed, eyespots centered in blue.


The Hackberry Emperor may be seen near woodland edges, near creeks, around buildings, and around damp, muddy spots.

Food Plants[edit]

The adults usually do not visit flowers, but feed on rotting fruit, tree sap, dung, and animal carcasses.

Host Plants[edit]

Hackberry trees are the only host plants of the Hackberry Emperor.

Life cycle[edit]

Males perch to await females. The pale green eggs are laid in clusters on the host plant. Young larvae feed communally. The thorny headed larva is bright grass green, with yellow and chartreuse stripes. It has two green tails projecting from the rear. The sharply horned chrysalis is a bluish green color. The Hackberry Emperor overwinters as a half grown larva.



External links[edit]