Asterocampa clyton - (Boisduval and Le Conte, [1835])
Tawny Emperor
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Asterocampa clyton (Boisduval and Le Conte, 1835) (TSN 778006)
French Common Names: empereur fauve
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.116075
Element Code: IILEPM7070
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Insects - Butterflies and Moths - Butterflies and Skippers
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mandibulata Insecta Lepidoptera Nymphalidae Asterocampa
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Opler, P. A., and A. D. Warren. 2002. Butterflies of North America. 2. Scientific Names List for Butterfly Species of North America, north of Mexico. C.P. Gillette Museum of Arthropod Diversity, Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado. 79 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B02OPL01EHUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Asterocampa clyton
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 14Jun2016
Global Status Last Changed: 01Sep1998
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: 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.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (01Sep1998)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N3 (23Aug2017)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S4), Arizona (SNR), Arkansas (SNR), Connecticut (S2), Delaware (S1?), District of Columbia (S2S4), Florida (S4), Georgia (S4), Illinois (S4), Indiana (S5), Iowa (S4), Kansas (S5), Kentucky (S4), Louisiana (S4), Maryland (S4), Massachusetts (S1), Minnesota (S4S5), Mississippi (SNR), Missouri (S4S5), Nebraska (S3), New Jersey (S4), New York (S2S4), North Carolina (S4), Ohio (S4), Oklahoma (S3), Pennsylvania (S4S5), South Carolina (S4), Tennessee (S4), Texas (SNR), Vermont (S1S2), Virginia (S5), West Virginia (S4)
Canada Ontario (S3), Quebec (S2)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

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

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300

Population Size: 10,000 to >1,000,000 individuals

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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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.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, AZ, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WV
Canada ON, QC

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
CT New Haven (09009)*
NE Franklin (31061)
NY Columbia (36021), Dutchess (36027), Greene (36039), Nassau (36059), Queens (36081), Tompkins (36109), Ulster (36111)
PA Bedford (42009), Berks (42011), Juniata (42067), Lancaster (42071), Lebanon (42075), York (42133)
VT Addison (50001), Chittenden (50007), Rutland (50021), Windsor (50027)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
01 Black-Ottauquechee (01080106)+, Quinnipiac (01100004)+*
02 Middle Hudson (02020006)+, Rondout (02020007)+, Northern Long Island (02030201)+, Southern Long Island (02030202)+, Schuylkill (02040203)+, Lower Juniata (02050304)+, Lower Susquehanna-Swatara (02050305)+, Lower Susquehanna (02050306)+, Cacapon-Town (02070003)+
04 Seneca (04140201)+, Otter Creek (04150402)+, Winooski River (04150403)+
10 Middle Republican (10250016)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: Butterfly, Nymphalidae.
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Hardwood, Forest - Mixed, Savanna, Shrubland/chaparral, Suburban/orchard, Woodland - Conifer, Woodland - Hardwood, Woodland - Mixed
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).
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Biological Research Needs: Ssp. Louisa in lower Rio Grande Valley, Tex. and ssp flora in peninsular Fla. should be on "watch list".
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Asterocampa Butterflies

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: A grove of hackberry trees or bushes, or exceptionally even a single large tree, or for more highly ranked occurrences a substantial population of these trees, where the species occurs or has occurred and where there is potential for persistence or regular recurrence. In most cases long term viable populations of A. CLYTON at least will be metapopulations. Minimally a specimen or photograph of an adult or an expertly identified larval specimen or photograph associated with the foodplants
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 2 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Alternate Separation Procedure: When multiple colonies occur in the same canyon or stream course, in general they should be considered a single metapopulation occurrence subject to the suitable habitat distance; similarly where hackberry trees occur in small patches on ridges such as in Connecticut.
Separation Justification: These butterflies form very local colonies. Especially with A. CELTIS it is possible for a single hackberry tree to support a population for several years. D. Schweitzer's yard has maintained a fluctuating but consistently present colony of A. CELTIS with three annual broods (second and third partial) on one large tree and about a dozen saplings in less than .2 hectare for at least 14 years. While rarely seen even 100 meters away from hackberry trees, these butterflies are extremely good colonizers and A. CLYTON (females the most sluggish of the group) has to regularly recolonize the same patches of foodplants in southern New Jersey (including Schweitzer's yard) due to frequent local extirpations from parasites and predation of the clumped eggs and less so the larvae. The other less gregarious taxa seem to fluctuate but not nearly as much. It is obvious that adults move and colonize over a least a few kilometers and highly likely that they move father occasionally although they are not migratory. At least if observations are made over several years, and usually even if only on one day, it will almost invariably be found that all suitable habitat in an area is occupied unless perhaps at the periphery of the range. While arbitrary, two kilometers probably provides some degree of separation between populations but almost certainly not a barrier to gene flow. In riparian situations and others where hackberry trees are found over a large areas defining separate occurrences will always be arbitrary. If the habitat is extensive it will be fully occupied at least much of the time if not constantly and whatever distance is involved will not result in separate occurrences, at least not for A. CLYTON, A, CELTIS or some canyon/riparian occurrences for A. LEILIA. Riparian occurrences of species such as A. CLYTON (in NJ at least) which diapause as larvae in leaf litter are probably periodically eradicated or greatly reduced in floods, which also suggests most legitimate high quality occurrences should be large to allow for sufficient survival in such events.
Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 1 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: This is problematic since all habitat is extremely likely to be occupied at least part of the year if not all the time. If an observation of A. CLYTON or A. CELTIS were made in a 1,000 hectare bottomland forest with hackberry throughout in the core of the range of the butterfly, there is almost no chance the occurrence would be less than 1,000 hectares. But more commonly, especially where a species might be of conservation concern, occurrences are localized in a small groves several kilometers from any other. In such cases there is no obvious basis for extending the occurrence beyond the grove where the butterflies were seen. In riparian or canyon situations it certainly seems reasonable to infer presence at least one kilometer up and downstream from the observation if the hackberries extend that far.
Date: 04Dec2001
Author: Schweitzer, D. F.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 18Aug2009
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: DFS, Opler, P.A.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 18May2001

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Allen, T.J. 1997. The butterflies of West Virginia and their caterpillars. Pittsburgh, PA. University of Pittsburgh Press.

  • Allen, T.J., J.P. Brock, and J. Glassberg. 2005. Caterpillars in the field and garden. Oxford University Press, New York. 232 pp.

  • Belth, Jeffrey E. 2013. Butterflies of Indiana A Field Guide. Indiana University Press.Bloomington, IN.

  • Brock, J. P., and K. Kaufman. 2003. Butterflies of North America. Kaufman Focus Field Guides, Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, NY 284 pp.

  • COVELL, C.V., JR. 1999. THE BUTTERFLIES AND MOTHS (LEPIDOPTERA) OF KENTUCKY: AN ANNOTATED CHECKLIST. KENTUCKY STATE NATURE PRESERVES COMMISSION SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL SERIES 6:1-220.

  • Campbell, C.A., D.P. Coulson and A.A. Bryant. 1990. Status, Distribution and Life History Characteristics of Some Butterflies at Risk in the Carolinian Forest Zone of Ontario. pp 207-252. In: Allen, M.A., P.F.J. Eagles and S.D. Price (eds.). Conserving Carolinian Canada. University of Waterloo Press..

  • Glassberg, J. 1993. Butterflies through binoculars: A field guide to butterflies in the Boston-New York-Washington region. Oxford University Press: New York. 160 pp.

  • Glassberg, J. 1999. Butterflies Through Binoculars: The East. Oxford University Press, New York, New York. 400 pp.

  • Gochfeld, M. and J. Burger. 1997. Butterflies of New Jersey. Rutgers University Press: Rutgers, New Jersey. 327 pp.

  • Holmes, A.M., Q.F. Hess, R.R. Tasker and A.J. Hanks. 1991. The Ontario Butterfly Atlas. Toronto Entomologists' Association, Toronto, Ontario. viii + 167 pp.

  • Huber, R. L. 1981. An updated checklist of Minnesota butterflies. Minnesota Entomological Association Newsletter 14(3):15-25.

  • Iftner, D. C., J. A. Shuey, and J. V. Calhoun. 1992. Butterflies and Skippers of Ohio. Ohio Biological Survey Bulletin. New Series, Vol. 9, no. 1, xii + 212 pp., 40 color plates.

  • Layberry, R.A., P.W. Hall, and J.D. Lafontaine. 1998. The Butterflies of Canada. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Ontario. 280 pp.

  • O'Donnell, J.E., L.F. Gall., and D.L. Wagner, eds. 2007. The Connecticut Butterfly Atlas. State Geological and Natural History Survey of Connecticut, Department of Environmental Protection, Hartford. 376 pp.

  • Opler, P. A., and A. D. Warren. 2002. Butterflies of North America. 2. Scientific Names List for Butterfly Species of North America, north of Mexico. C.P. Gillette Museum of Arthropod Diversity, Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado. 79 pp.

  • Pelham, J. P. 2008. A catalogue of the butterflies of the United States and Canada with a complete bibliography of the descriptive and systematic literature. The Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera. Volume 40. 658 pp. Revised 14 February, 2012.

  • Riotte, J.C.E. 1992. Annotated List of Ontario Lepidoptera. Life Sciences Miscellaneous Publications, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. 208 pp.

  • Shapiro, A.M. 1974. Butterflies and Skippers of New York State. Search 4:1-60.

  • Shuey, John. 1995. Indiana S-Ranks for Butterflies. Memorandum to Cloyce Hedge. 10 pp.

  • Wagner, D.L. 2005. Caterpillars of eastern North America. Princeton University Press. Princeton, New Jersey. 512 pp.

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