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Asterocampa clyton

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Asterocampa clyton
Dorsal view
Ventral view

Secure  (NatureServe)[1]
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Nymphalidae
Genus: Asterocampa
A. clyton
Binomial name
Asterocampa clyton
(Boisduval & Leconte, 1835)

Asterocampa clyton, the tawny emperor, is a species of brush-footed butterfly. It is native to North America, especially the eastern half from Canada to northern Mexico. The tawny emperor should not be mistaken for a very similar Asterocampa butterfly, the hackberry emperor, which can be distinguished by the white spots near the tip of its forewing and the black eyespot lower along the edge of the forewing.[2]

The upperside is mostly dark brown. The forewing is an orange-brown color with pale orange-yellow spots. The underside is mainly gray brown with the forewing having some black and pale yellowish markings. The wingspan measures 2 to 2.6 inches (51 to 66 mm). A dark morph of this species is regionally common with nearly uniformly dark hind wings.

This butterfly may be seen flying near houses, gravel driveways, near water, muddy places, gardens, and woodlands. Its only host plant is hackberry trees. The adult feeds on carrion, plant sap, and dung, and rarely land on flowers.


The female lays clusters of green eggs. The larva is green with yellow, white, or greenish stripes.


  1. ^ "NatureServe Explorer 2.0 Asterocampa clyton Tawny Emperor". explorer.natureserve.org. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  2. ^ "hackberry emperor - Asterocampa celtis (Boisduval & Leconte)". entnemdept.ufl.edu. Retrieved 2017-11-15.