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Butterflies of North America -- Phyciodes pallida

North American Butterflies and Moths List

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Butterflies of North America

Pale Crescent (Phyciodes pallida)
JPG -- species photo

Pale Crescent (Phyciodes pallida [W. H. Edwards])

Wing span: 1 3/8 - 1 5/8 inches (3.5 - 4.1 cm).

Identification: Upperside is pale orange; dark markings are reduced, especially on hindwing. Forewing both above and below with dark spot at center of inner margin. Underside is yellow with red-brown markings; crescent on hindwing is white.

Life history: Males perch in canyons to wait for females; only rarely do they patrol ridges. Females lay eggs in large groups on underside of host plant leaves; caterpillars eat leaves.

Flight: One flight from April-June.

Caterpillar hosts: Thistles (Cirsium) in the sunflower family.

Adult food: Flower nectar.

Habitat: Valleys, dry streambeds, dry fields.

Range: Central British Columbia southeast in the Rocky Mountains to Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado; south to Oregon, Utah, Nevada, and northern Arizona.

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.

References:

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

Pale Crescent (Phyciodes pallida)
distribution map
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