Painted Crescent (Phyciodes picta [W. H. Edwards])
Wing span: 1 - 1 1/2 inches (2.5 - 3.8 cm).
Identification: Upperside is dark with yellowish spots. Below, forewing apex and all of hindwing are yellow-cream with pale or absent markings.
Life history: Males patrol on flats all day for females. Eggs are laid in clusters on underside of host plant leaves; caterpillars eat leaves. Third-stage caterpillars hibernate.
Flight: Two to three flights from April-October.
Caterpillar hosts: Field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis), aster, and hairy tubetongue (Siphonoglosssa pilosella).
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Marshes, stream edges, and washes in short-grass prairie; fields, roadsides, fencerows.
Range: Nebraska, Kansas, and Colorado south to Texas, New Mexico, and western Arizona; northern Mexico.
Conservation: Not usually required.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management needs: None reported.
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:
Ferris, C.D. and F.M. Brown. 1980. Butterflies of the Rocky Mountain States. University of Oklahoma Press. Norman. 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. Tilden, J.W. and A.C. Smith. 1986. A Field Guide to Western Butterflies. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. Add Toliver, M., Holland, R., and S.J. Cary. 1996. Distributional data for New Mexico Butterflies. Privately published. Albuquerque, N.M.