|The Empress Leilia Butterfly is a member
of the Emperor family of butterflies. It is medium sized (1-3/4 to 2-1/4
butterfly with white spots near the fore wing tips and a band of dark
spots and two dark lines following along the wing margin. Caterpillars
grow to 1-1/4 inches long, are green, tapered at both ends, and marked
with a pair of yellow lines along the top of the body and V-shaped
markings on the sides.
Unlike other Emperor butterflies
which prefer to land on trees or leaves, the Empress Leilia
prefers to rest on the ground.
The Empress Leilia may be found in central and
southern Arizona (except for the southwest) as well as south Texas,
Mexico and Baja. Their habitat consists of desert washes, canyons and
scrub where their main food source, the desert hackberry, grows.