The Hackberry Emperor

I chased butterflies and other insects along the gravel road near my house yesterday, and came across a hackberry emperor, Asterocampa celtis.  Hackberry butterflies are active little butterflies that are hard to sneak up on to photograph.   But they are fun anyway.

I spent some time trying to get close enough to this one to take a good picture but had no luck.  It would land briefly then dart away when I got close.  But about the time I was ready to give up it landed on me.  I was able to coax it on to my finger so I could get a better shot.


Of all the butterflies found in Iowa, the hackberry is the most likely to land on you.

I love hackberries.


About the roused bear

Nature photographer from central Iowa.
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3 Responses to The Hackberry Emperor

  1. Interesting little guy, the hackberry butterfly, who landed on your finger. Do they live in the bush and eat berries?

    • The caterpillar host plant is the hackberry tree. I am not really sure what the berries the tree is named for look like, or if the caterpillar eats the vegetation or the berries.

  2. theresagreen says:

    What an obliging little butterfly; beautiful detail too, I love its spotted eyes.

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