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hackberry butterfly

hackberry butterfly (Asterocampa celtis)

Features and Behaviors

The hackberry butterfly adult has a wingspan of between one and three-fourths and two and one-half inches. Each forewing of this insect has a single black spot in the lower left portion of the wing. This orange-brown butterfly also has a black bar, two smaller black spots and white markings on the forewing. Each hindwing has black spots. The caterpillar is yellow-green with yellow spots along the midline and three yellow lines along each side.

The hackberry butterfly may be found statewide in Illinois. It lives in forests but may be found as a wanderer in other locations. The adults flap and glide when flying. The adult may eat solid animal waste, rotten fruits and sap. Larvae feed in groups, eating sugarberry and hackberry leaves. Larvae overwinter in groups inside dead leaves.

Illinois Range


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Nymphalidae

Illinois Status: common, native