hackberry butterfly eggs

[4], As a member of the family Nymphalidae, the hackberry emperor oviposits its eggs in clutches, or clusters, upon hackberry leaves. One strategy is to actively patrol an area for females. Typically, the specialized relationship of flowering plants and butterflies results in mutual benefit, in that the butterfly gains nutrients from flower visits while the host plant gains reproductive fitness from assistance in pollination. Hackberry Butterfly Eggs. Males perch head-down on tall objects in sunny, open locations waiting for females to approach. This is where the hackberry butterfly, question mark, and snout butterlfy prefer to lay their eggs in Central Arizona. Average wingspan: 1.38 – 2.48 inches (3.5 – 6.3 cm), White to gray in color, and are laid in clusters on the underside of hackberry leaves, Hackberry Emperor Images static1.squarespace.com, Hackberry Emperor Butterfly butterfliesandmoths.org, Your email address will not be published. The other strategy is to perch. There are a few plausible evolutionary reasons for this behavior, but the exact cause for this species' behavior is contentious. Celtis laevigata Up Close. The hackberry tree is the only host plant for A. celtis and is the food source for larvae. [8] They drink from water in puddles. The Hackberry Emperor is a species of North American butterfly that are often seen hopping around water bodies, swamps, and city parks/gardens. [5], The hackberry emperor is found across a wide range within North America. [3][6], Asterocampa celtis lives wherever the hackberry tree lives. It gets its name from the hackberry tree (Celtis occidentalis and others in the genus Celtis) upon which it lays its eggs. They seldom make visitations to flowers so nectar is not a primary food source. The chrysalis has a dark green color at the base studded with white spots all over. At the rear, two sharp tails protrude outwards level with the abdomen. When the wings are open, they display an overall tan to reddish brown hue with the forewings having a single submarginal eyespot, along with a row of jaggy white spots, while each of the cells has a black bar and a pair of black spots. The larva’s body is approximately 1.4 inches in length with the head bearing brown-black horn-like dorsal projections. It has been observed as far south as central Mexico and north into parts of Eastern Canada. Soil – best in damp to wet but will grow in dry soil Not tolerant of … Its range extends to the southwest into regions like Arizona, New Mexico, and other parts of the Rockies, as shown by the map. The hackberry emperor is known for being a quick, mercurial butterfly. [3], Species in the genus Asterocampa are regarded as being "cheater" organisms, since these butterflies do not pollinate flowers when they feed from them. Hackberry Butterfly Chrysalis Note how the chrysalis’ texture and coloration almost mirror the Hackberry’s leaf Hackberry Butterfly (Asterocampa Celtis) Host Plants Hackberry Tree (Celtis Occidentalis) Sugarberry Tree The life cycle of hackberry emperor caterpillars begins with eggs laid on the underside of hackberry tree leaves. The species is not very deterred by human development. This habit suggests that these creatures are not an ineffective pollinator. [6][10], Scelionid egg parasites antagonize many species of Asterocampa, including the hackberry emperor. Entire southeastern part of North America, Wooded roadsides and streams, towns, forest glades and edges of rivers. There are also white lines going diagonally across the abdomen. [3][7], Pupae have a dark green color with white spots all around the body. Patrollers are attracted to still objects that resemble a mate. It often is found along water sources and lowlands, although it lives in a broad range of habitats. In Wisconsin, you’re most … Strangely, these butterflies are seen visiting flowers rarely, compared to most other butterfly species. In the spring, they emerge again and climb back up the hackberry tree to eat the foliage. During winter, they move on to hibernation along the floor of the forest, only to re-emerge during spring and feed on the foliage of the hackberry leaves. They stay hung on the underside of their host hackberry tree leaves during this stage and turn to adult butterflies during early summer. Perchers typically spend only part of the day actively looking for a mate. However, the hackberry emperor likely does not aid in pollination in any significant way. [2] It gets its name from the hackberry tree (Celtis occidentalis and others in the genus Celtis) upon which it lays its eggs. Asterocampa celtis, the hackberry emperor, is a North American butterfly that belongs to the brushfooted butterfly family, Nymphalidae. There are a variety of species of the hackberry line, and A. celtis is not found preferentially on any one kind of hackberry. Sexual Dimorphism: Not distinctly present. Some factors influencing oviposition could be that laying eggs in a large cluster decreases the time and energy necessary for searching for new leaf sites, which decrease the risk of maternal death between oviposition events. On the rare occasion that the butterfly visits flowers for feeding, it does not allow its feet or its antennae to touch the flower. [11], A. celtis exhibit perching behavior. They must first climb back up their host tree to eat after they are done hibernating over winter. [11], The hackberry emperor is not under serious threat. The caterpillars have been known to eat so much at a time that they can completely defoliate a tree. Period. It can commonly be found across the Midwest and especially along the east coast from Florida up to New England. The body is a primarily green with whitish-yellow chalazae, or bumps. The Hackberry Emperor is a species of North American butterfly that are often seen hopping around water bodies, swamps, and city parks/gardens. Hackberry Emperor Butterfly Chrysalis lh3.ggpht.com. For A. celtis, laying eggs in clusters is its best strategy to produce the most offspring.[5][7]. Possible explanations include higher fecundity that may be aided by aposematic coloration. Laying eggs in clusters results in higher fecundity for the female. [3][6], Adult hackberry emperors lay two broods in a year. The pale eggs are laid in clusters of 5-20 eggs on the host plant. The hackberry tree is the only host plant for A. celtis and is the food source for larvae. The body is approximately 1.4" long. Its caterpillars feed on the several species of hackberry trees/shrubs. Instead, they commonly eat hackberry sap, feces, dead animals including decaying pigs, snakes, and dogs, and old fruit. The head has brown-black colored dorsal horns. Hackberry Butterfly Side View. Another notable characteristic is that it rarely is spotted visiting a flower, which is considered unusual for a butterfly. Also, they are known to land on humans to lick off their sweat to gain sodium. Only the proboscis is used to touch parts of the flower, which suggests that the butterfly would be an ineffective pollinator. White spots near the front of the wing help distinguish it from a similar butterfly, the Tawny Emperor. Females deposit eggs in masses, and the larvae are gregarious when young, seemingly swarming on leaves in feeding groups. Half-grown larvae hibernate over the winter in fallen hackberry leaves along the forest floor. The male rests on rocks, trees, or fallen branches often along streams from the afternoon until around sundown. Required fields are marked *. The males of the species are smaller with darker bodies and slimmer wings. More specifically, the butterfly lives in cities, forests, and wooded areas, and especially prefers areas near rivers or other bodies of water. [10], Male searching behavior in butterflies generally falls into two different strategies. This species can more accurately be described as parasitizing their hosts and plant food sources since they extract nutrients without providing any benefits to the host. [7], A. celtis adults exhibit sexual dimorphism. When a male sees movement nearby it will quickly fly out to attempt to mate, but stay within a limited habitat. Hackberry Butterfly Dorsal View. Color and Appearance: Their appearance varies dramatically with latitudes. The stink bug is also a very common predator of hackberry emperor eggs. As hackberry trees grow, so grow hackberry emperors. This production of multiple generations within one year makes it such that all life stages may be present at one time within a single site or host tree. White lines also run diagonally across the abdomen. At the rear end, a pair of sharp tail-like protrusions is found. [3][6], A. celtis usually lays eggs in clusters on the underside of hackberry leaves, although it has been observed to occasionally lay eggs on the top of a leaf. and their butterflies are found over about two-thirds of the U.S. [7], A. celtis visits flowers in an unusual way. Hackberry Emperor Caterpillar cdn.butterflyatlas.org. [12], CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (, "NatureServe Explorer 2.0 Asterocampa celtis Hackberry Emperor", "hackberry emperor - Asterocampa celtis (Boisduval & Leconte)", "SIGNIFICANCE OF VISITS BY HACKBERRY BUTTERFLIES (NYMPHALIDAE: ASTEROCAMPA) TO FLOWERS", "Lepidoptera associated with pig carrion", "General Notes: INSECT PARASITES AND PREDATORS OF HACKBERRY BUTTERFLIES (NYMPHALIDAE: ASTEROCAMPA)", "Mate-locating behavior of western North American butterflies", "Hackberry Emperor Asterocampa celtis (Boisduval & Leconte, [1835]) | Butterflies and Moths of North America", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Asterocampa_celtis&oldid=989299188, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 18 November 2020, at 05:07. Asterocampa celtis, the hackberry emperor, is a North American butterfly that belongs to the brushfooted butterfly family, Nymphalidae. All rights reserved. When the wings are closed, the patterns look almost similar, except that the hues are much lighter. It can commonly be found throughout most of its distribution. [6], The larvae of A. celtis feed upon the leaves and leaf buds of hackberry trees. Hackberry is a host for six different species of butterflies. [3], Pupae are found on the underside of hackberry leaves and metamorphose into adults in the early summer. Photo shows summer new growth leaves. Subscribe our email newsletter for future updates... © 2020 (Butterfly Identification). Males have smaller, darker bodies and more slender wings than females. [4], Generalist species like birds and mammals, such as bears and raccoons, will eat larvae that lie along the forest floor. Hackberry butterflies are known to land on humans to lick off sweat and gain sodium from it. Strangely, these butterflies are seen visiting flowers rarely, compared to most other butterfly species. Hackberry trees (Celtis spp.) They sit perched upon a branch waiting for a female to fly by. Both males and females are light brown with a row of black or white dots near the far edge of their wings. The entire body is a bright green having pale yellow bumps. the Hackberry butterfly) is a classic example of what happens if you put all your eggs in one culinary basket. Your email address will not be published. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. The Hackberry Emperor (a.k.a. Mourning Cloak, Question Mark, Hackberry Emperor, Comma, Snout, and Tawny Emperor butterflies host on this tree. Hackberry flower nectar, hackberry sap, feces, dead animals including decaying pigs, snakes, and dogs, and old fruit. While feeding the nectar from their only host, the hackberry, these butterflies often refrain from touching the flowers with their feet and antennae, but only use the proboscis. Hackberry Butterfly Caterpillar. This is considered to be “cheater” behavior. [9] Eggs look white with a faint green-yellow hue. Larvae burrow underground in order to metamorphose into adults. A tachinid fly parasitoid, Chetogena edwardsii, is another common threat to the hackberry emperor. Furthermore, the hackberry emperor may be seen near woodland edges, near creeks, around buildings, and around damp, muddy areas. Hackberry is a US and Canada native. [3][7], Adults feed on a variety of food sources. The forest floor 8 ] they drink from water in puddles resemble a mate considered to “. Flower nectar, hackberry emperor likely does not aid in pollination in any way! Line, and old fruit higher fecundity for the female a branch waiting for a female to fly.! Males and females are light brown with a faint green-yellow hue larvae of A. celtis exhibit... Is that it rarely is spotted visiting a flower, which suggests that the butterfly would be an pollinator. 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