by Christine Nathaniel
(Mc Allen Texas)
Taken at a outdoor butterfly garden in Mission Texas.
Thanks for the beautiful close-up photo! This is a Tawny Emperor or Asterocampa clyton. The host tree for the Tawny Emperor is the Elm family of trees. The eggs are laid in large groups of 200-500 on bark or the underside of leaves.
An interesting fact about this butterfly is that the caterpillars in the 3rd stage hibernate in groups of about 10 inside a dead curled leaf. Also, the tawny emperor butterfly does not drink flower nectar but feeds on tree sap, rotting fruit, dung, etc.
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