Hackberry Emperor Butterfly, Asterocampa celtis

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Hackberry Emperor Butterfly Asterocampa celtis

The Hackberry Emperor butterfly, Asterocampa celtis is found in areas where Hackberry trees grow. Their host plant is Hackberry or Sugarberry trees. Hackberry is found in most of the United States except for the upper NW, Maine, and New Hamshire. Hackberry and Sugarberry trees are common landscape plants. Hackberry butterflies enjoy dining on decaying fruit. In late fall, caterpillars make a nest by sewing hackberry leaves together and to the tree. They move into the nest and slowly, over weeks, turn from green to brown. As the trees drop their leaves for the winter, the hibernaculums (winter nests) stay on the tree. The caterpillars stay in their hibernaculums until fresh leaves grow in the spring. At that time, they crawl out of their nests and continue to eat and grow. Overwintering in this way is called 'diapause'.

hackberry emperor butterfly asterocampa celtis eating loquat or japanese plum hackberry emporor asterocampa celtis butterfly
Hackberry Emperor Butterfly Adult
eating from loquat (Japanese Plum)
Hackberry Emperor Butterfly
On a Hackberry Leaf
hackberry emperor asterocampa celtis butterfly eating loquat japanese plum fruit hackberry leaves, host for hackberry and tawny emperor butterfly caterpillar
Hackberry Eating Loquat
Asterocampa celtis
Hackberry Tree Leaves
Celtis sp.
hackberry emporor asterocampa celtis butterfly caterpillars tawny emperor Asterocampa clyton butterfly caterpillar
Hackberry Emperor Caterpillar
Dots along its back
Resembles Tawny Emperor Caterpillar
Tawny Emperor Butterfly Caterpillar
Lines along its back
Resembles Hackberry Emperor Caterpillar
hackberry emperor asterocampa celtis butterfly caterpillar head face tawny emperor Asterocampa clyton butterfly caterpillar
Hackberry Emperor Caterpillar
Its Head is Fascinating
Hackberry Emperor Caterpillar
Asterocampa celtis
hackberry and tawny emperor caterpillars larvae hackberry emperor butterfly pupae chrysalis asterocampa celtis
Large Hackberry Emperor Caterpillar
Smaller Tawny Emperor Caterpillars
Two Hackberry Chrysalises
On Hackberry Leaves
hibernaculum of tawny and hackberry emperor caterpillars larvae hackberry emperor butterfly pupae chrysalis asterocampa celtis
Caterpillars Spend the Entire Winter
in leaf nests called hibernaculums
In Spring, Summer, and Early Fall
Caterpillars hide in folded leaves
Hackberry Emperor Butterflies Asterocampa celtis can be found near hackbery trees in fields or in cities.