Empress Leilia (Asterocampa leilia) life history
Empress Leilia (Asterocampa leilia) Life History

Eggs, 4-27-13

First instar, 5-1-13

Second instar, 5-4-13

Third instar is now 4mm, 5-7-13

Fourth instar, 5-9-13

Final instar, 5-15-13

Chrysalis, 5-17-13

Fresh Empress Leilia, 5-23-13

I caught a female Empress Leilia on April 23 and placed her in my greenhouse with a potted Desert Hackberry (Celtis ehrenbergiana) tree. I found eggs on April 26, so I released the female.

The caterpillars emerged on May 1. In the first instar they had black heads. In the second instar the head became somewhat knobby; the knobbiness was most pronounced in the third instar. Normally, Emperors have five instars. If there was a fifth instar, I missed the molt to the fourth. If on this occasion there were only four, then the last two caterpillar pictures are of the same instar.

Inset: a black-form face from
sibling of focal caterpillar.


The focal caterpillar took 17 days to pupate; the adult emerged six days later.

Caterpillar comparison of the three common Asterocampa species found in Starr County.

Empress Leilia Page