Caterpillars in Your Yard and Garden
Brush-footed butterflies, fritillaries and wood nymphs
Hackberry emperor caterpillars (Asterocampa celtis) are present from early summer to fall. They produce two generations per year.
Full-grown caterpillars are one to 1.5 inches long. The body is yellow to green with longitudinal to oblique white-yellow stripes on the sides of most body segments. Two barbed horns arise from the green head and a pair of pointed projections from the end of the body. From the base of each horn and running the length of the granulose body to the abdominal tips is a white-yellow line bordered by shades of dark green. Between these parallel lines in the center of the back is an inconspicuous yellow line. The host plant is hackberry (occasionally a serious pest).
About the family
Brush-footed butterflies, fritillaries and wood nymphs belong to the Nymphalidae family. Caterpillars have variable color patterns ranging from longitudinal stripes to mimicking a bird dropping. Most species are covered with prominent spines and tubercles.