Hackberry Emperor

Asterocampa celtis

This species and the Tawny Emperor are both closely associated with their host plant, Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis). Wherever you find this tree growing, especially in the southern third of the state, you may find either of these two species.

Weekly sightings for Hackberry Emperor

Identifying characteristics

Above, the Hackberry Emperor varies from a grayish to orange brown background color with darker tips and a variety of distinct white spots. The front wing has one or two spots in the submargin and one cell bar in the front wing is broken. Below, this species is light brown and somewhat resembles the Satyrs, with a very distinct row of eyespots.

Similar species

The Tawny Emperor is very similar and, like the Hackberry, is somewhat variable in its coloration. The Tawny Emperor above has two solid cell bars and lacks the submarginal spots of the Hackberry.

Habitat

Rich woods or parks where Hackberry grows.

Flight

Two flights in Wisconsin. Late June and then in August.

Abundance

The Hackberry Emperor can be very common where Hackberry trees are present. They are therefore much more likely to be found in the southern third of the state.

Early Hackberry Emperor Sightings

Date County Reported by
May 29, 2012 Grant Karl and Dorothy Legler
May 31, 2007 Grant Todd Sima
Jun 1, 2007 Iowa Ann Thering
Jun 2, 2012 Rock Karl and Dorothy Legler
Jun 4, 2006 Grant Todd Sima

Locations

Map showing sighting locations for Hackberry Emperor
Map key
Hackberry EmperorClick to enlarge

Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge, Trempealeau Co., WI, July 11, 2003.

Hackberry EmperorClick to enlarge

Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge, Trempealeau Co., WI, July 11, 2003.

Hackberry EmperorClick to enlarge

Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge, Trempealeau Co., WI, July 11, 2003.