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