Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos)
Pearl crescents are colorful butterflies found in North America. Their color patterns are somewhat variable geographically, but even with the variations, they are one of the most beautiful butterflies around.
- Family: Nymphalidae
- Genus: Phyciodes
- Common names: Pearl Crescent
- Scientific Name: Phyciodes tharos
These are chocolate brown, white, and black with bristles. They feed communally slowly making their way down the food plant.
The chrysalis is whitish grey to yellow-brown in color with subtle, bumpy ridges on the upper surface.
Sexual Dimorphism: Males have a knob at the tip of their antenna. Females are darker in color than males.
When unfolded, the upper side of the wings is orange with black markings and margins.
In a folded position, the underside of the wings are grey-brown to orange-brown; they lack the black dots but have a white crescent along the border.
Average Wingspan: 1.18-1.58 inches (3-4 cm).
Flight Pattern: Erratic; they tend to fly low, staying near the ground, alternating between gliding and flapping their wings.
The eggs are green in color and laid in small groupings on the underside of the leaves of their host plant.
|Distribution||All of the United States other than the west coast, across Mexico, and Southern Canada|
|Habitat||Fields, pastures, open pine forests, roadsides, and vacant areas|
|Host plants||Various aster plants|
|Adult diet||Nectar from swamp milkweed, dogbane, asters, winter cress and shepherd’s needle|
Did You Know?
- The pearl crescent is often confused with the similar looking northern crescent and tawny crescent.