Pearl Crescent and others

In this past week of crisp cool weather, I found many butterflies of many different species. Here are just a handful.

Pearl Crescent

A small, very attractive and widespread butterfly, Pearl Crescents (Phyciodes tharos), like this one, can be seen throughout the Outdoor Exhibits.
The underside of the Pearl Crescent.
The arrow points to the crescent on the hindwing.

I’m sometimes asked why this butterfly is named Pearl Crescent. You have to see the underside of the hindwing to get the answer to that question, and this butterfly often pumps its wings up and down while perched, making it difficult to see the underwing. Persistence will get you a glimpse at a small whitish crescent on the hindwing, surrounded by a dark smudge. And that, is where this butterfly gets it name.

The others

A Little Yellow (Pyrisitia lisa), a small sulphur, nectars on aster.
sleepy orange
This Sleepy Orange (Abaeis nicippe) preferred sage over the asters.
am lady
This American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) was one of several seen on aster last week.
The only Viceroy (Limenitis achippus) present had a damaged right wing, perhaps due to a predator.
A very common species that flies low to the ground is the Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia).
ckeckered skipper
A Common Checkered Skipper (Pyrgus communis) sips nectar from an aster. This is a spread-wing skipper.
fiery skipper
Besides having a different color scheme, Fiery Skippers (Hylephila phyleus) are smaller than checkered skippers and typically hold their forewings in a folded manner. They are folded-wing skippers.

There are still plenty of butterflies about, so if you happen to pass some flowers in bloom (no matter how small) while strolling the grounds, stop and have a look.


2 responses to Pearl Crescent and others

  1. Karyn says:

    Great photos (as usual!), Ranger Greg. You inspire me to keep a sharp eye when I’m out on the trail.

    • Greg Dodge, Ranger says:

      Thanks Karyn.
      Any flower that’s in bloom at this time of year could draw in butterflies.
      Good luck!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.