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Hackberry Emperor

  • Family Name: Nymphalidae/Brush-Footed Butterflies
  • General Description: Gray-brown; forewing triangular with white spots toward darker apex, a single solid black eyespot along the outer margin, and a broken innermost black cell bar. Hindwing with row of small, solid black spots. Ventral hindwing paler gray-brown with row of yellow-rimmed black eyespots with blue centers.
  • Field Marks: Gray-brown; Forewing distinctly triangular with single black eyespot, white spots toward apex and a broken innermost black cell bar.
  • Sexes: appear similar
  • Wingspan: 48-65 mm
  • Life Cycle: Egg: Cream-yellow, laid singly on the underside of host leaves Mature larva: Light green with numerous tiny yellow spots, yellow longitudinal stripes, and two short tails. Head with two short branched horns on the top. Chrysalis: Green with lighter markings
  • Number of Generations: Three per year
  • Flight Season: Spring through fall
  • Abundance: Common
  • Habitat: Stream margins, forest edges, moist woodlands, parks
  • Counties:
  • Larval Host Plants: Sugarberry (Celtis laevigata) and Common Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)
  • Similar Species: No similar species
  • Additional Information: Young larvae overwinter in leaf shelters. Adults perch high on overhanging branches or tree trunks. Somewhat local in occurrence but often abundant near host trees.

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