- Common and widespread. Very reliable in the Fall and will readily come to bait .
- Common and widespread in North Carolina, these butterflies can be found on the wing from Spring into Fall and often visit flower gardens. Males and females are distinguished by the shape of the tip of the abdomen (fine point in females; blunt in males).
Common Names in English:
Arctic White, Pearl Crescent, Pearl Cresent, Red Admiral
'The Nymphalidae are members
of the Superfamily
Papilionoidea, the true butterflies. Distributed worldwide, butterflies of this family
are especially rich in the tropics. They are highly variable, and there are more species in this family than in any other. Adults
vary in size from small to large, and their front legs
are reduced, unable to be used for walking. Wing
is also highly variable: some species have irregular margins
(anglewings and commas), and others have long taillike projections (daggerwings). Browns, oranges, yellows, and blacks are frequent colors, while iridescent
colors such as purples and blues are rare. Adults of some groups are the longest-lived butterflies, surviving 6-11 months. Adult feeding behavior depends on the species, where some groups primarily seek flower nectar while others only feed
, rotting fruit, dung, or animal carcasses. Males exhibit
behaviors when seeking mates. Egg-laying
varies widely, as some species lay eggs
in clustsers, others in columns, and others singly. Caterpillar appearance
and behavior vary widely. Brushfoots overwinter
as larvae or adults.
Brushfoots are the most prevalent members of the Family Nymphalinae. Distributed worldwide, this is a diverse group that contains several tribes , each with somewhat different structural and biological features. Adults of North American species are predominantly orange, brown, and black. Wing shape and mating systems are variable. Most checkerspots and crescentspots patrol for mates, while the remainder of groups exhibit either perching or perching and patrolling . Migration varies widely; some strong migrants are found in the lady butterflies, tortoiseshells, and anglewings, while other species are local in occurrence. Most species limit their host plants to a few species, but the Painted Lady has one of the widest host palettes of all butterflies. Eggs are laid singly or clustered in groups, and caterpillars be found feeding alone or communally. Brushfoots overwinter as young caterpillars or hibernating adults.
Species Phyciodes tharos
Quite variable. Males usually have black antennal knobs. Upperside is orange with black borders ; postmedian and submarginal areas are crossed by fine black marks . Underside of hindwing has a dark marginal patch containing a light-colored crescent. Spring and fall broods (form marcia) have a gray mottled hindwing below. (ref. 105926)
Wing span : 1 1/4 - 1 3/4 inches (3.2 - 4.5 cm). (ref. 105926)
Open spaces, meadows, fields
, roadsides, streamsides.
Extremely widespread in most any sunny locations -- fields, wooded borders , yards , etc. Not associated with interior forested areas, but certainly one of the more frequently seen butterflies along woodland edges and powerline clearings. (ref. 104729)
Open areas such as pastures, road edges, vacant lots , fields, open pine woods . (ref. 105926)
Foodplants are primarily asters. Ironically, because it is such a
widespread species, the butterfly observer
would never suspect what
are the foodplants! Nectar plants are very widespread, but
they are usually low-growing herbs, as opposed to tall herbs or large
. (ref. 104729)
Caterpillar hosts: Several species of smooth-leaved true asters including Aster pilosus, A. texanus, and A. laevis. (ref. 105926)
Adult food: Nectar from a great variety of flowers including dogbane, swamp milkweed, shepherd's needle , asters, and winter cress. (ref. 105926)
Eggs are laid in clusters on leaves of asters. Larvae feed on aster foliage . Caterpillars are brown with yellow bands and many branching spines; last brood overwinters . Chrysalis is mottled gray, yellow and brown. There are usually several broods per season .
Flight period: Many broods (four or five) that essentially overlap; there is a continuous presence in NC from mid-March to late November. The flight in the Coastal Plain and Piedmont begins in late March. (ref. 104729)
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- C. Linnaeus, 1758
- (Hatschek, 1888) Cavalier-Smith, 1983
- Grobben, 1908
- A.M.A. Aguinaldo et al., 1997 ex T. Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Latreille, 1829
- Snodgrass, 1938
- Heymons, 1901
- C. Linnaeus, 1758
- Butterflies and Moths
- Infraorder: Heteroneura ()
- Order: Lepidoptera () - C. Linnaeus, 1758 - Butterflies and Moths
- Superorder: Panorpida ()
- Cohort: Myoglossata ()
- Infraclass: Pterygota ()
- Subclass: Dicondylia ()
- Epiclass: Hexapoda ()
- Superclass: Panhexapoda ()
- Infraphylum: Atelocerata () - Heymons, 1901
- Subphylum: Mandibulata () - Snodgrass, 1938
- Phylum: Arthropoda () - Latreille, 1829 - Arthropods
- Superphylum: Panarthropoda () - Cuvier
- Infrakingdom: Ecdysozoa () - A.M.A. Aguinaldo et al., 1997 ex T. Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Branch: Protostomia () - Grobben, 1908
- Subkingdom: Bilateria () - (Hatschek, 1888) Cavalier-Smith, 1983
- Kingdom: Animalia () - C. Linnaeus, 1758 - animals
Name Status: Accepted Name .
Phaon Crescent; Painted Crescent
Identification can be challenging at times, and Pearl Crescents can be confused with Mimic Crescent (P. incognitus), Phaon Crescent (P. phaon), and Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis).
Members of the genus Phyciodes
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 37 species and subspecies in this genus:
P. argentea (Chestnut Crescent) · P. batesii (Tawny Crescent) · P. batesii anasazi (Canyon Crescent) · P. batesii batesii (Tawny Crescent) · P. batesii lakota (Lakota Crescent) · P. batesii maconensis (Appalachian Crescent) · P. cocyta (Northern Crescent) · P. cocyta arenacolor (Steptoe Valley Checkerspot) · P. frisia (Cuban Crescent) · P. graphica (Graphic Crescent) · P. graphica vesta (Vesta Crescent) · P. incognitus (Mimic Crescent) · P. mylitta (Mylitta Crescent) · P. mylitta mexicana (Mylitta Crescent) · P. orseis (California Crescent) · P. orseis herlani (Orseis Crescent) · P. orseis orseis (Orseis Crescent) · P. pallescens (Mexican Crescent) · P. pallida (Pale Crescent) · P. pallida barnesi (Barnes' Crescent) · P. pallidus (Pallid Crescentspot) · P. phaon (Phaon Crescent) · P. picta (Painted Crescent) · P. picta canace (Painted Crescent) · P. pratensis (Field Crescent) · P. pulchella (Field Crescent) · P. pulchella camillus (Camillus Crescent) · P. pulchella pulchella (Field Crescent) · P. pulchella shoshoni (Field Crescent) · P. pulchella totchone (Field Crescent) · P. texana (Texan Crescent) · P. tharos (Arctic White) · P. tharos arctica (Pearl Crescent) · P. tharos riocolorado (Northern Pearl Crescent) · P. tharos tharos (Pearl Crescent) · P. tulcis (Pale-Banded Crescent) · P. vesta (Vesta Crescent)
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- LepIndex: The Global Lepidoptera Names Index
- Marlin, Bruce. CirrusImage.com.
- Opler, Paul A., Kelly Lotts, and Thomas Naberhaus, coordinators. 2009. Butterflies and Moths of North America. Bozeman, MT: Big Sky Institute. http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/ (Version of April 17, 2009).
- Pippen, Jeffrey S. Jeff's Nature Page. Accessed December 3, 2007.
- Ruggiero M., Gordon D., Bailly N., Kirk P., Nicolson D. (2011). The Catalogue of Life Taxonomic Classification, Edition 2, Part A. In: Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2011 Annual Checklist (Bisby F.A., Roskov Y.R., Orrell T.M., Nicolson D., Paglinawan L.E., Bailly N., Kirk P.M., Bourgoin T., Baillargeon G., Ouvrard D., eds). DVD; Species 2000: Reading, UK.
- The Global Lepidoptera Names Index2, 12.2, 2005.
Accessed through GBIF Data Portal February 26, 2008:
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Saskatoon
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility: Alan Wormington Collection
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility: Butterflies and Skippers of Alberta Project
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility: Canadian National Collection (CNC) of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility: Crispin S. Guppy Collection
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility: Lepidopterists Society Season Summaries 1973-1997
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility: Lyman Entomological Museum
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility: M. Gollop Collection
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility: Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility: Norbert Kondla Collection
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility: Ross A. Layberry Observations
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility: Royal British Columbia Museum Entomology Collection
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility: Royal Ontario Museum: Entomology
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility: Royal Saskatchewan Museum Collection
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility: University of Guelph, Department of Environmental Biology
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility: University of Western Ontario Collection
- Illinois Natural History Survey
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 2328925
- Catalogue of Life Accepted Name Code: Lep-156573.0
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility Taxonkey: 4490920
- Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Taxonomic Serial Number (TSN): 188584
- Natural Heritage Network Species Identifier: IILEPK3030
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 14161