Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Tawny Crescent
Phyciodes batesii (Reakirt, [1866])

Family: Nymphalidae
Subfamily: Nymphalinae
Identification: Antennal knobs are black and white. Upperside is dark brown; forewing with pale orange postmedian band and orange submarginal band. Underside of forewing is yellow; black patch on inner margin is larger than black patch near costa. Underside of hindwing is yellow-tan with faint markings; female with black submarginal dots.
Wing Span: 1 1/4 - 1 3/4 inches (3.2 - 4.5 cm).
Life History: Females lay eggs in groups under host plant leaves. Caterpillars eat leaves; first- and second-stage caterpillars live together in webs on the host plant. Third-stage caterpillars hibernate.
Flight: One brood from May-July; sometimes a partial second brood in Michigan.
Caterpillar Hosts: Wavy-leaved aster (Aster undulatus) and perhaps other true asters.
Adult Food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Moist meadows and pastures in the northern part of its range; dry rocky ridges or hillsides in the south.
Range: Southwest Quebec west to central Alberta, south to north-central Montana, Wisconsin, Michigan, and northern Georgia. Isolated colonies in the Black Hills and Nebraska's Pine Ridge.
Conservation: For unknown reasons, this butterfly has disappeared from most of its eastern range.
NCGR: G3 - Very rare or local throughout its range or found locally in a restricted range (21 to 100 occurrences). (Threatened throughout its range).
Management Needs: Maintain habitat integrity, host plant colonies, and nectar sources.
Comments: NULL