Texan Crescent (Phyciodes texana [W. H. Edwards])
Wing span: 1 1/4 - 1 7/8 inches (3.2 - 4.8 cm).
Identification: Outer margin is indented below tip of forewing. Upperside is black with small white spots and some rusty red near wing bases. Hindwing with median band of cream-colored spots.
Life history: Males perch in gulches to watch for females. Eggs are laid in groups on underside of host plant leaves; caterpillars eat leaves.
Flight: Several broods, from March-November in south Florida and Arizona, throughout the year in South Texas and the tropics.
Caterpillar hosts: Various low plants of the acanthus family including Ruellia, Jacobina, Beloperone, and Siphonoglossa.
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Deserts, dry gulches, open areas, streamsides, road edges, city parks.
Range: Guatemala north through Mexico to southern California, east across the southern United States to northern Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. Strays to Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, South Dakota, and central Nevada.
Conservation: Not usually of concern.
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: None reported.
Opler, P. A. and G. O. Krizek. 1984. Butterflies east of the Great Plains. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 294 pages, 54 color plates. 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