North American Butterflies and Moths List

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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Texas

Silver Emperor (Doxocopa laure)
JPG -- species photo

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:

Neck, R.W. 1996. A Field Guide to Butterflies of Texas. Gulf Publishing Co., 
     Houston, Texas.

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. 

Tilden, J.W. and A.C. Smith. 1986. A Field Guide to Western Butterflies. 
     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.
Tveten, J. and Tveten, G.  1996.  Butterflies of Houston & Southeast Texas.
     Univ. of Texas Press, Austin, TX.  292 pp.
Silver Emperor (Doxocopa laure)
distribution map
map legend

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