14 Jan Crescentspot Butterflies
Small Crescent butterflies (also called Crescentspot), appear in our gardens as fast-moving flashes of orange and black, darting among the flowers. This diminutive butterfly, Phyciodes tharos, has a wing span between one and two inches. Males fly around open fields and pastures looking for mates. They puddle in the mud along the roads and ditches, and look for nectar from flowers like Sunflowers, Zinnias and Coneflowers.
There are several variations in wing markings between the different Crescents. They do not interbreed. The males have black-tipped, clubbed antennae where the female’s are lighter.
Many types of composite flowers provide food for the Crescent butterflies. Around the spiny quills poking out of the central disc of this Purple Coneflower, a Crescent sucks up the rich nectar in the tube-like tongue called proboscis.
The Audobon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies, Robert Michael Pyle
Authors: Kathleen Hird Kostner and Ricardo Kostner
© Hird and Kostner | Image reproduction only with written permission from the authors.