Asterocampa leilia

Asterocampa leilia

Photo Life History: Asterocampa leilia;

Habitat:  Lower Sonoran Desert

Host Plants:  Celtis pallida

Suitable Lab Host Plants: Unfed first instars refuse Celtis reticulata in the lab. 

How to Find Female Butterflies:  Click here.  (Some A. leilia females fly predictably. See notes below.)

Caring for Live Female Butterflies:  Nectaring techniques

Methods of Female Oviposition:   Open Screen Cages; (Females oviposited several clutches of eggs on new growth of Celtis pallida in a five gallon pot.  This pot was inside a large 24" by 24" by 48" butterfly tent with a plate of bananas at the bottom of the cage to feed the females. )

How to Find Eggs:  Look on Host Plants with New Growth.  It can be very impractical to locate A. leilia immatures on Celtis pallida in the wild because of how common the host plant can grow.  However, if you live in Tucson, you might be able to attract ovipositing females to your yard if you plant a single tree.  Females have been known to leave the Santa Catalinas and locate/oviposit on host growing in town.  Also, looking on potted C. pallida at nurseries might be productive if the local nursery permits it.

How to Hatch Eggs:  Consolidate eggs into one container.

How to Find Caterpillars in the Field: Not very productive.  (See notes above on how to find eggs.)

How to Find Pupae in the Field:  Larvae will pupate on the tree; but camouflage themselves well.

Caterpillar setups:  Open terrariums; Open Bucket; Potted Plant.

Larva to Pupa:  Caterpillar silks to leaf or twig; creates and attaches cremaster; hanging before pupating.

Number of Broods per Year:  3-4

Overwintering Stage:  Third instar

Overwintering Strategies:

Post-Hibernation Strategies: 

Avoiding Diapause Techniques:  Healthy Host Plant  Avoid overcrowding larvae.

Disease Prevention:  Change out host plant and remove frass every four to five days in an open bucket or open terrarium setup. 

Emergence:  Emergence Container

Field Notes:  I located four females behaving similarly within a 10 minute window along the Catalina Hwy, Pima County, Arizona, between Babad Do'ag Vista and Molino Basin Campground on 16 Sep 2010.  Google Earth = 32°19'18.16"N 110°42'27.60"W.  These females were flying and landing upside down under rocky outcroppings and nearby trees in order to escape the heat of the day. (I didn't see any sap coming from the trees.)  These females were repeatedly flying around this tree and then entering into its interior to land.  Special thanks to Jim Brock and Doug Mullens for their help and advice with this butterfly.