Silver Emperor (Doxocopa laure [Drury])
Wing span: 2 3/4 - 3 1/4 inches (7 - 8.2 cm).
Identification: Upperside of male is dark brown with some blue iridescence; median band is white on hindwing and mostly orange on forewing. Female upperside is dark brown without iridescence; median band is white on both wings and ends with a yellow spot at the leading edge of the forewing. Underside of hindwing of both sexes is grayish with a silvery iridescence.
Life history: Eggs are laid singly on new growth of the host plant. Caterpillars make resting perches on top of leaves.
Flight: July-December in South Texas; all year in the tropics.
Caterpillar hosts: Tree and shrub Celtis in the elm family (Ulmaceae).
Adult food: Rotting fruit, dung, sap, carrion.
Habitat: Subtropical wooded areas and edges.
Range: In lowland tropics from Brazil north to northern Mexico. Strays occasionally to the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas.
Conservation: Not required for a rare tropical stray.
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. Smith, D. S., L. D. Miller, and J. Y. Miller. 1994. The butterflies of the West Indies and South Florida. Oxford University Press, Oxford. 264 pages, 32 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.