Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

California Crescent
Phyciodes orseis W.H. Edwards, 1871

Family: Nymphalidae
Subfamily: Nymphalinae
Identification: Upperside is dark brown with orange-brown markings in distinct bands. Underside is yellow-orange with scattered reddish brown markings.
Wing Span: 1 1/4 - 1 5/8 inches (3.2 - 4.2 cm).
Life History: Males perch along creeks and in valleys to find females. Eggs are laid in large batches under host plant leaves, which the caterpillars eat. Third-stage caterpillars hibernate.
Flight: One brood from May-June.
Caterpillar Hosts: Thistles (Cirsium species) in the sunflower family.
Adult Food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Mountain valleys, meadows, stream canyons.
Range: Southern Oregon south along the Pacific coast to San Francisco; northern and central Sierra Nevada; western Nevada.
Conservation: Possibly extirpated in California coast ranges; species should be monitored wherever it occurs.
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