Observation notes: This is a tight cluster of 8 butterflies on a hackberry tree trunk, next to a shallow creek running through our pasture in southwest Barton County MO. The weather has been relatively dry lately, for having been a very wet year "here". The camera kept trying to focus on the plant material on the other side of the creek. The butterflies' camo made them difficult to photograph! I would venture to guess a female, ready to reproduce, has lured in a following of devoted males.
The reason I waffle over the exact identification is that they did not appear to have any orange on the wings, as pictured in my butterfly ID book. The description did say, though, that the color is variable, and that Empress Antonias are common here and close in appearance.
Verified by: CA Ivy
Verified date: September 21, 2019
Coordinator notes: nectaring tree sap and likely all males