Empress Leilia (Asterocampa leilia [W. H. Edwards])
Wing span: 1 1/2 - 3 inches (3.8 - 7.6 cm).
Identification: Upperside is chestnut brown; forewing has 2 solid brown bars in the cell, median white spots, and 2 black eyespots near the outer margin.
Life history: Males perch most of the day to watch for females. Eggs are laid in groups of 10-15 on the top of host plant leaves. Third-stage caterpillars hibernate.
Flight: All year in South Texas, April-November in Arizona.
Caterpillar hosts: Tree Celtis pallida in the elm family (Ulmaceae).
Adult food: Sap and dung, occasionally flower nectar.
Habitat: Thorn scrub, washes, canyons, streamsides.
Range: Southern Arizona east to South Texas, south to central Mexico.
Conservation: Not usually of conservation concern.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management needs: None reported.
Opler, P. A. and V. Malikul. 1992. A field guide to eastern butterflies. Peterson field guide #4. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston. 396 pages, 48 color plates. Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates. Tilden, J. W. 1986. A field guide to western butterflies. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. 370 pages, 23 color plates.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann
State and Regional References:
Opler, Paul A. 1999. Peterson Field Guide to Western Butterflies, revised edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western USA Butterflies. Privately published, Denver, Colo.