Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Phaon Crescent
Phyciodes phaon (W.H. Edwards, 1864)


Family: Nymphalidae
Subfamily: Nymphalinae
Identification: Forewing is dark orange and black with a pale cream median band. Underside of hindwing is cream to yellowish; spring and fall butterflies (form marcia) have a gray hindwing.
Wing Span: 1 - 1 1/2 inches (2.5 - 3.8 cm).
Life History: Males patrol during daytime near the host plant. Eggs are laid in small groups on underside of host plant leaves; caterpillars eat leaves.
Flight: Many broods southern Florida; February-October in California; April-September in New Mexico.
Caterpillar Hosts: Fogfruit (Lippia lanceolata) and mat grass (Lippia nodiflora) in the verbena family.
Adult Food: Nectar from flowers of Lippia and composites including shepherd's needle.
Habitat: Openings in thorn forest, open areas with closely cropped plants, dunes, pastures, road edges.
Range: Guatemala north through Cuba and Mexico to southern California, east through South Texas and Florida to coastal South Carolina. Strays to eastern Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri.
Conservation: Not usually required.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: None reported.
Comments: NULL