And our beautiful fox squirrels eat both the leaf galls and the fruit. in the family Celtidaceae. Hackberry Emperor … The tawny emperor, Asterocampa clyton (Boisduval & LeConte), is a medium sized, rather non-descript butterfly that is particularly common in riparian forests, but is also found in dry woods and suburbs (Opler et al. Hackberries. Seen from below, the hackberry emperor's hindwing has a row of eyespots: blue spots surrounded by black, yellow, and brown concentric rings. Landscape designers effusively praise the Hackberry tree and rate it “superior.” Like other members of the elm family, it creates a shady canopy, growing to 60 feet with a 40 to 50 foot spread. It is often found in association with the hackberry emperor, Asterocampa celtis(Boisduval & LeConte), which is usually more abundant. Butterflies, skippers, and moths belong to an insect order called the Lepidoptera — the "scale-winged" insects. Cats overwinter in groups, inside rolled, dead leaves. Caterpillar Food Plant Spicebush Hackberry Emperor at Grand Gulf State Park in Thayer, MO. It originally appeared in Vol 14: No.1, Spring 2009. Below, its hindwings have only smudgy-looking eyespots. ... Hackberry Emperor LARVA (Asterocampa celtis) next to Mantis Egg Case. Tweet; Habitat: Found on Sugarberry tree (Celtis laevigata) in my backyard on the edge of mixed hardwood/pine wooded area. Emperors seldom visit flowers, but are often attracted to rotten fruit, animal scat, or sap.They have a persistent habit of basking vertically, with the wings open, on tree trunks and other surfaces near their host species. — Hackberry emperor feeds on several species of hackberry while mourning cloak, question mark and painted lady caterpillars all feed on American elm. Garden designers yearn for four-season interest. Zebra Longwing caterpillar eating a leaf of Citrus-Yellow Passion Flower (Passiflora citrina) which Judi purchased at world-famous Butterfly World in Coconut Creek, Florida. The adults seldom visit flowers, but they do absorb nutrients from tree sap, rotting fruit, carrion, animal droppings, and damp sand or muddy ground. Caterpillar food: Celtis sp. This is one of several butterflies that are attracted to sodium in human sweat, so they often alight on people. In a few. City yards, parks, and wooded areas. Looking more closely, the upperside cell (the discal cell is the narrowly oval section at the front core of the forewing) of the hackberry emperor has one unbroken dark bar, while the inner dark "bar" is broken into 2 offset spots (this region on the tawny emperor has two unbroken dark bars). Tawny Emperors are encountered much less often than their close relatives, Hackberry Emperors, and often in smaller numbers. Tawny Emperor caterpillars eggs are laid in large groups of 200 to 500 on Hackberry bark or leaves. We facilitate and provide opportunity for all citizens to use, enjoy, and learn about these resources. days they hatch into tiny green caterpillars with white stripes. The hackberry butterfly is a subtly colored insect that is a brown blur on the wing, but an eyed beauty up close. Is there a perfect tree? These living jewels have tiny, overlapping scales that cover their wings like shingles. They are spread far and wide by birds and have at least a 300% germination rate. Looking more closely, the upperside cell (the discal cell is the narrowly oval section at the front core of the forewing) of the hackberry emperor has one unbroken dark bar, while the inner dark "bar" is broken into 2 offset spots (this region on the tawny … About every five years, we are blessed with huge eruptions of Hackberry Emperors. In spring, they move back into the tree canopy to resume feeding. Many butterflies and moths are associated with particular types of food plants, which their caterpillars must eat in order to survive. (OK. Larvae are similar to those of the tawny emperor: green with yellow-green and white stripes; the last segment is forked. The following article originally appeared in Butterfly Gardener, a NABA publication for members. North American Butterfly Association Home, Butterfly Garden Certification Program Details. Leave your car window open, and fifty will perch on your steering wheel, enjoying its saltiness. In the fall, groups of half-grown caterpillars attach themselves to rolled dead leaves. It has a large and noble head with the two horns. The following photos show the instars of a Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar (larva) that we raised in our living room. They are fast, erratic flyers. HW with row of black spots inward from margin. Look for adult Hackberry Emperors in forests, woodland edges, near water sources (creeks, rivers, streams), gardens and backyards. In Missouri, this includes the common hackberry, C. occidentalis, as well as sugarberry (or southern hackberry), C. laevigata. Butterflies agree with this strategy because the caterpillars prefer the tender leaves of the newly stooled growth to the tougher leaves of an adult tree. Caterpillar: Light green with two narrow stripes and numerous yellow spots. Dorsally, the forewing is a dark chocolate to black color with several white … (Hackberry and Sugarberry) These butterflies are very friendly – they will sit on people, sucking up sweat from their skin. Asterocampa celtis. The hackberry emperor, Asterocampa celtis (Boisduval & Leconte), is also known as the hackberry butterfly (Miller 1992) although the latter name is somewhat misleading because there are two other eastern United States butterflies—the American snout, Libytheana carinenta [Cramer], and the tawny emperor, Asterocampa clyton [Boisduval & Leconte]—and also a number of other Asterocampa … Asterocampa celtis. … Many people see males of this butterfly perching, head-down, on trees, bushes, the sides of houses, and other tall objects, darting out at passing butterflies, animals, and people. They have been known to be extremely ‘friendly,’ often landing on people and enjoying the treat of salty sweat. When Tawnies are found, they are almost always in the company of Hackberry Emperors, but for unknown reasons, the reverse is not true. About every five years, we are blessed with huge eruptions of Hackberry Emperors. The caterpillar is a pretty pale green with a small but noticeable crown of horns behind its head. Above: FW and HW light brown. This beautiful native tree feeds animals, grows under tough conditions and harvests as attractive hardwood for furniture and flooring. Similar species: The tawny emperor, from above, doesn’t have white spots on dark forewing tips, lacks the black eyespot, and has two unbroken bars at the leading edge of the forewing, not a bar and two spots. As both the common and scientific names suggest, hackberry trees (genus Celtis) are the host plants for the larvae of this species. The eggs are found in large clusters on the underside of a leaf. Selected reprinted articles are available on the main NABA website. Stomping through the snowy forest, a hiker can easily identify Hackberry trees by the light gray bark arranged in deep, corky furrows that look like mountain ranges. This sort of data can be useful in seeing concentrations of a particular species over the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Always associated with hackberry trees, which are widespread in our state (Missouri has three species of hackberries). … Hackberry Emperor Asterocampa celtis BRUSHFOOT FAMILY (Nymphalidae) Description This small butterfly has a wingspan of 2 – 2 1/2 inches. Asterocampa celtis, the Hackberry Emperor caterpillar, feeds exclusively on Hackberry (Celtis) species. In fall and again in spring, great flocks of migrating cedar waxwings swoop onto the Hackberry tree to gobble berries while discussing their journey in that distinctive musical twitter. Upperside is reddish brown. The Hackberry Emperor can often be found in woodlands, city parks and gardens. Forewing has 1 submarginal eyespot, a jagged row of white spots, and the cell … Head is dark and bears two stubby, antler-like horns. Seen from below, the hindwing has a row of eyespots: blue spots surrounded by black, yellow, and brown concentric rings. We were so close to perfection! This delicately beautiful butterfly delights people throughout the eastern United States when it lands on our skin on hot days to absorb salts from our sweat. Selected reprinted articles are available throughout the website. The caterpillars are herbivores that graze on hackberry leaves. Big poplar sphinx larvae (Pachysphinx occidentalis) feed on poplars (Populus), and willows (Salix). From June to October, I’m patrolling my gardens for seedlings. Hackberry emperors fly fast and erratically. hackberry trees. Asterocampa celtis, the hackberry emperor, is a North American butterfly that belongs to the brushfooted butterfly family, Nymphalidae. It looks like nothing else on your neat site. 7/2008 . We protect and manage the fish, forest, and wildlife of the state. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. It is native to North America, especially the eastern half from Canada to northern Mexico. Winter residents such as yellow-bellied sapsuckers, wild turkeys, and mockingbirds depend on the persistent berries. The ... (Celtis spp. It ranges from southern Canada through the eastern United States and cerntral plains areas. The larval hosts of the hackberry emperor are hackberry trees (Celtis spp.) The two most common hackberries in the eastern US, the more northern hackberry, Celtis occidentalis Linnaeus, and the more southern sugarberry, Celtis laevigata Willd., can usually be recognized by the slightly to heavily warty appearance (or Add Comment. Hackberry Emperor Butterfly Caterpillar. Even better, the “geographic” bark provides that scarcity, winter charm. The … The entire body is a bright green having pale yellow bumps. North American Butterfly Association's Butterfly Garden and Habitat program would not exist without the generous donations of supporters like you. Here are some photos of a very small and strange looking caterpillar we have in our backyard. The dorsal (top) forewing tips are black with white spots; there is also a distinct black eyespot on the forewing. With sharp eyes and luck, all seedlings are eradicated each spring, except for a lucky few that choose their landing spot well. The book says 34%, but it seems like 300%). Perfect! Call 1-800-392-1111 to report poaching and arson. Help us reach our goal so we can continue to support butterfly habitat in North America. Males perch head-down on tall objects in sunny, open locations waiting for females to approach. Mature Hackberry trees prefer full sun, but will grow in partial shade. The caterpillars eat the leaves of. Identification: Small—2.0. Innermost of 2 bars extending in from leading edge is broken (think, "hacked") into 2 spots. In late fall, half-grown caterpillars turn brown and group together inside curled hackberry leaves. The scales, whether muted or colorful, seem dusty if they rub off on your fingers. At the rear end, a pair of sharp tail-like protrusions is found. Many species of butterflies consider it the perfect caterpillar food plant, including the Question Mark, Mourning Cloak, Hackberry Emperor, Tawny Emperor and the darling American Snout. In a word, berries. Honey locust caterpillar feeds on honey locust, and Kentucky coffee trees. Larvae burrow underground in order to metamorphose into adults. Many species of butterflies consider it the perfect caterpillar food plant, including the Question Mark, Mourning Cloak, Hackberry Emperor, Tawny Emperor and the darling American Snout. Their diet of minerals from mud, sap, and rotting materials such as fruit and dung is similar to that of the Mourning Cloak and Question Mark. Caterpillar Food Plant Black Cherry The Tawny Emperor may also be more yellow-brown, or even a pale gray-brown or taupe. NABA member Lenora Larson has graciously allowed us to reprint it here. Is it Harmful to Humans: No. Caterpillar Food Plant: Violets, American Butterflies magazine is published four times a year exclusively for members of North American Butterfly Association. Gardening With Milkweeds Overall it is a dark brown to a rich tan color. Status: The Hackberry Emperor (Asterocampa celtis) is a member of a small genus of butterflies closely associated with hackberries (Celtis sp.) Hackberry Emperor PUPA near his Collapsed Larval Exoskeleton. Yes, “stooling:” the cutting of trees and shrubs to the ground each winter. Her larva will develop inside the caterpillar, consuming its insides until the wasp is mature enough to emerge. Wing span: 1 3/8 - 2 1/2 inches (3.5 - 6.3 cm). Bring on the flood or the drought, Hackberries thrive. The Hackberry Emperor caterpillar in the photo below has fallen victim to a parasitic wasp. Hackberry trees are the only host plants of the Hackberry Emperor. My one huge mature specimen keeps everyone provided with winter food. Caterpillar Food Plant Pipevine Females deposit eggs in masses, and the larvae are gregarious when young, seemingly swarming on leaves in feeding groups. Stooled specimens are short-lived and after four or five years, they give up in frustration over not being allowed to achieve their genetic potential. Hackberry Emperor Asterocampa celtis Recent Frequency Life Histories Compare Help Compare Page Find local MDC conservation agents, consultants, education specialists, and regional offices. Identification: Extremely variable geographically. Imperial Moth Caterpillar. Hackberry Emperor Because Tawny and Hackberry Emperors rarely nectar, you are most likely to encounter them in or near wooded areas where their caterpillar food is present. Scientific name: Eacles imperialis. Is there a solution? This species belongs to a very large group called "emperors," and they range to nearly every country in the world. They also feed on sugarberry trees. Consider the magnificent Hackberry tree, Celtis occidentalis. The map below showcases (in blue) the states and territories of North America where the Hackberry Emperor Butterfly may be found (but is not limited to). It only lasts a few moments, but time magically stands still. Adults fly from May through September. More than 700 species in North America north of Mexico, Wildflowers, Grasses and Other Nonwoody Plants. It gets its name from the hackberry tree (Celtis occidentalis and others in the genus Celtis) upon which it lays its eggs. The larger caterpillars have. All stages provide food for predators. And by the third year, even Round-up requires multiple applications to eradicate the pesky upstarts. It is a large butterfly and is similar in appearance to the Hackberry Emperor. This American native’s resistance to pollution makes it the perfect urban tree. Competition between the two closely related species may be reduced by the fact that tawny emperor larvae often feed on older foliage whereas hackberry emperor la… The larval caterpillars feed on the leaves of hackberry trees. Jack Powell is an accomplishes bird photographer from Oklahoma. There is a pair of short tails on the rear. FW with bright white spots on blackish wingtip and one prominent black eyespot along outer edge. The Tawny Emperor (Asterocampa clyton) is a species of brush-footed butterfly. Caterpillar Food Plant: Partridge Pea American Butterflies back issues. Hackberry Emperor Caterpillar cdn.butterflyatlas.org. The hackberry emperor is similar to the closely related, but less common tawny emperor ( A. clyton ), but it is a more neutral tan, while the tawny is more rust-colored. 2011). Butterfly Gardener magazine is published four times a year exclusively for members of North American Butterfly Association. The hackberry tree is the only host plant for A. celtis and is the food source for larvae. The larva’s body is approximately 1.4 inches in length with the head bearing brown-black horn-like dorsal projections. The head is ringed with small fingerlike projects, and 2 larger projections on top of the head fork and resemble miniature deer antlers. Both share the same range east of the Rockies, but the Tawny Emperor's is more concentrated in the center of that region. Notes: He was eating his shed when found inside a leaf that had been curled into a funnel with a single strand of silk. Hackberry Emperor. As you might expect, the caterpillar is unlikely to survive. Interesting caterpillar. Butterfly Feeders in Minnesota No problem, because I can count on the choice of hundreds of replacements each spring. The larvae, hibernating on the ground in their rolled-up leaves, undoubtedly feed many hungry birds and mammals in the winter. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! After. How can we even question this tree’s perfection? They overwinter in leaf litter. ), a host-plant for the Hackberry Emperor (Asterocampa celtis) butterfly. These are maintained as stooled specimens that don’t bear berries and provide succulent leaves for the caterpillars. From zone 3 to Florida’s zone 9, Hackberries flourish in any type of soil: acidic, alkaline, clay or loamy or sandy. Asterocampa celtis – Hackberry Emperor. Consider the magnificent Hackberry tree, Celtis occidentalis. Here is the life cycle of the hackberry emperor butterfly. Tawny Emperor vs Hackberry Emperor Caterpillars I see this come up every once in a while: somebody sees an Asterocampa caterpillar but doesn't know which one. (aka: Hackberry Butterfly) These beautifully patterned butterflies are a true delight. Hackberry Emperor (Asterocampa celtis) The Hackberry Emperor is mainly olive brown or gray-brown in color, with dark spots. The May flowers are an insignificant green, but the pale green spring leaves and yellow fall foliage are attractive. If you don’t tug the seedlings out the first year, they resist all but the strongest arm. Jun 2, 2013 - The Hackberry Emperor (Asterocampa celtis) is a North American butterfly that belongs to the family of brushfooted butterflies, Nymphalidae. The hackberry emperor is similar to the closely related, but less common tawny emperor (A. clyton), but it is a more neutral tan, while the tawny is more rust-colored. They prefer feeding on overripe fruit and tree sap than to nectar in flowers. The hackberry emperor, Asterocampa celtis (Boisduval & Leconte), is also known as the hackberry butterfly (Miller 1992) although the latter name is somewhat misleading because there are two other eastern United States butterflies - the American snout, Libytheana carinenta [Cramer], and thetawny emperor, Asterocampa clyton [Boisduval & Leconte] — and also a number of other Asterocampaspecies, in other areas, that use ha… I have personally taste-tested the sweetness of the dark red berries, a thin flesh around a single nutlet. Birds also celebrate Hackberry trees. Caterpillar Food Plant Hackberry They often alight on people to absorb sodium from sweat.