Tulcis Crescent (Phyciodes tulcis [Bates])
Wing span: 1 1/4 - 1 3/8 inches (3.2 - 3.5 cm).
Identification: Outer margin of forewing is only slightly indented. Upperside is black with white markings; hindwing with wide white median band.
Life history: Eggs are laid in batches on underside of host plant leaves; caterpillars feed at night in groups.
Flight: May-November in South Texas.
Caterpillar hosts: Dicliptera species in the acanthus family.
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Second growth and open fields.
Range: Argentina north through Central America and Mexico to South Texas; strays to west Texas and southern Arizona.
Conservation: Populations in Texas' lower Rio Grande Valley, especially at Sabal Palm Santuary, should be conserved.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G4 - Apparently secure globally, though it might be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management needs: Maintain caterpillar host plant habitat.
Note:This species has been considered a subspecies of the Cuban Crescent by some workers in the past.
Opler, P. A. and V. Malikul. 1992. A field guide to eastern butterflies. Peterson field guide #4. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston. 396 pages, 48 color plates. Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates. Tilden, J. W. 1986. A field guide to western butterflies. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. 370 pages, 23 color plates.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann
State and Regional References:
Opler, Paul A. 1999. Peterson Field Guide to Western Butterflies, revised edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western USA Butterflies. Privately published, Denver, Colo.