Location: Nashville, Tennessee
September 8, 2014 10:07 am
It has the little balls at the end of the antenna and did flutter its wings open and closed slowly when it landed. I can’t tell what species or name for the butterfly….or perhaps it is a moth!
This is a beautiful Tawny Emperor butterfly, and its wings are so perfect and pristine, we would almost guess that you might have observed it on its maiden flight. BugGuide pictures four subspecies of Tawny Emperors, and we believe your individual looks most like Asterocampa clyton clyton as pictured on BugGuide. There are some nice images on The Butterflies and Moths of North America where this account is provided of the “Life History: Males perch on trees in full sun to watch for females. Eggs are laid in large groups of 200-500 on bark or the underside of mature leaves of host plants. Caterpillars eat leaves and young ones feed gregariously. Third-stage caterpillars hibernate in groups of about 10 inside a dead curled leaf.” We think your photo with the foreshortened perspective on the perfect wings is quite unique among images we have seen online.