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Hackberry emperor

Asterocampa celtis


Asterocampa celtis, the hackberry emperor, is a North American butterfly that belongs to the brushfooted butterfly family, Nymphalidae. It gets its name from the hackberry tree (Celtis occidentalis and others in the genus Celtis) upon which it lays its eggs. The hackberry tree is the only host plant for A. celtis and is the food source for larvae. Extremely variable geographically. Upperside is reddish brown. Forewing has 1 submarginal eyespot, a jagged row of white spots, and the cell has 1 solid black bar and 2 separate black spots. Wing Span: 1 3/8 - 2 1/2 inches (3.5 - 6.3 cm).


Spotted next to a creek at Lake Catherine State park. the butterfly lives in cities, forests, and wooded areas, and especially prefers areas near rivers or other bodies of water. The species is not very deterred by human development. Furthermore, the hackberry emperor may be seen near woodland edges, near creeks, around buildings, and around damp, muddy areas


Must have been at least 20 of these Hackberry emperor butterflies at this creek location by the bridge. Many of them were landing on me (the Hackberry emperor is known for landing on humans - attracted to the salt from sweat). Adult Food: Sap, rotting fruit, dung, carrion. Will take moisture at wet spots along roads and streams. Habitat: Along wooded streams, forest glades and river edges, wooded roadsides, towns. Range: Resident in most of the eastern United States, central Plains states, and the southwest mountains; northern Mexico.

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Spotted by

Arkansas, USA

Lat: 34.44, Long: -92.93

Spotted on Sep 7, 2018
Submitted on Sep 7, 2018

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