Overview

Brief Summary

North American Ecology (US and Canada)

Asterocampa clyton is a year-round resident in the eastern United States, and ranges to s. Mex. in North America (Scott 1986). Habitats are subtropical to transition zone woods. Host plants are usually mature trees, restricted to one genus Celtis (Ulmaceae). Eggs are laid on the host plant stacked in large clusters, with 200-500 eggs per clutch, usually on the undersides of leaves. Individuals overwinter as third-stage larvae, in a hirbernaculum-leaf curled up using silk. There are variable numbers of flights each year depending on latitude: multiple flights all year in s. Tex.; multiple flights Mar.1-Nov.30 in Fla.; multiple flights June1-Sept30 in Ariz; two flights in Mo; one flight late June-Aug15 in the northern part of the range (Scott 1986).
  • Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press.
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Distribution

occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) Massachusetts south to Georgia and eastern Texas, and west to Nebraska.

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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: While less ubiquitous than A. CELTIS, this species is likewise found in most habitats where hackberries and other CELTIS species grow. A. CLYTON is less tolerant of subrubia, probably because hibernating larvae are destroyed when leaves are raked in the fall (Schweitzer).

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Migration

Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300

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Global Abundance

10,000 to >1,000,000 individuals

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Adults feed on sap, fruit, carrion and occasionally flower nectar and mud. Males perch for females (Scott, 1986).
  • Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Asterocampa clyton

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 2 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

GCGAAATGATTATTTTCTACAAATCATAAGGATATTGGTACTTTATATTTTATTTTTGGAATTTGAGCAGGAATAGTTGGAACTTCCCTT---AGTTTATTAATTCGATCTGAATTAGGAAATCCAGGTTCATTAATTGGAGAT---GATCAAATTTACAATACTATTGTTACAGCTCATGCTTTTATTATAATTTTTTTTATAGTTATACCTATTATAATTGGAGGATTTGGAAATTGATTAGTACCTTTAATA---TTAGGAGCCCCTGATATAGCTTTTCCTCGAATAAATAATATAAGATTTTGATTATTACCCCCCTCATTAATACTGCTAATCTCAAGAAGAATTGTTGAAAATGGAGCAGGAACTGGATGAACAGTATACCCACCACTTTCTTCCAATATTGCTCATGGAGGATCTTCAGTTGATTTA---GCAATTTTTTCATTACATTTAGCCGGAATTTCATCAATTTTAGGAGCAATTAATTTCATTACTACAATTATTAATATACGAATTAATAATTTATCTTTTGATCAAATACCTTTATTTGTATGAGCAGTAGGAATTACAGCTTTACTTTTACTTTTATCATTACCTGTATTAGCTGGA---GCTATTACTATACTTCTTACTGATCGAAATATTAATACATCATTTTTTGATCCTGCTGGAGGAGGAGATCCAATTCTTTACCAACATTTATTTTGATTTTTTGGTCATCCTGAAGTTTATATTTTAATTCTACCAGGATTTGGAATAATTTCACATATTATTTCTCAAGAAAGAGGTAAAAAA---GAAACTTTTGGTTGTTTAGGAATAATTTATGCCATATTAGCTATTGGTTTATTAGGATTTATTGTATGAGCTCATCATATATTTACTGTAGGAATAGATATTGATACTCGAGCTTATTTCACGTCAGCAACTATAATTATTGCTGTCCCAACTGGAATTAAAATTTTTAGATGATTA---GCAACTTTACATGGTACA---CAAATTAATTATAGTCCTTCTATACTTTGAAGTTTAGGTTTTATTTTCTTATTTACAGTAGGAGGATTAACTGGAGTAGTCTTAGCTAATTCATCAATTGATATTACTTTACATGATACTTATTATGTAGTTGCTCATTTTCATTATGTA---TTATCAATAGGAGCTGTATTTGCTATTTTTGGAGGATTTGTTCATTGATATCCTTTATTTACTGGATTAGTTTTAAATGATTATTTATTAAAAATTCAATTTATTTCTATATTTATTGGAGTAAATTTAACTTTTTTTCCTCAACACTTTTTAGGTTTAGCAGGTATGCCTCGA---CGATACTCTGATTATCCTGATAGATTTGTT---TCTTGAAATATTATTTCATCATTTGGATCCTATATTTCATTACTTTCTATAATATTAATAGTTATTATTGTATGAGAATCTATGATTAATCAACGAATTATT---CTATTTTCTTTAAATATACCCTCATCA
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Asterocampa clyton

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 21
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N2 - Imperiled

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Reasons: Adults are not nearly as easily observable as A. celtis in most places, but this is still a common and widespread butterfly. Larvae sometimes easier to find than adults.

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Threats

Degree of Threat: D : Unthreatened throughout its range, communities may be threatened in minor portions of the range or degree of variation falls within natural variation

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Management

Biological Research Needs: Ssp. Louisa in lower Rio Grande Valley, Tex. and ssp flora in peninsular Fla. should be on "watch list".

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Global Protection: Many to very many (13 to >40) occurrences appropriately protected and managed

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Wikipedia

Asterocampa clyton

The Tawny Emperor (Asterocampa clyton) is a species of brush-footed butterfly. It is native to North America, especially the eastern half from Canada to northern Mexico.

The upper side is mostly dark brown. The forewing is an orange-brown color with pale orange-yellow spots. The underside is mainly gray-brown with the forewing having some black and pale yellowish markings. The wingspan measures 2 to 2.6 inches.

This butterfly may be seen flying near houses, gravel driveways, near water, muddy places, gardens, and woodlands. Its only host plant is hackberry trees. The adult feeds on carrion, plant sap, and dung, and rarely land on flowers.

Caterpillar

The female lays clusters of green eggs. The larva is green with yellow, white, or greenish stripes.

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