Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Field Crescent
Phyciodes pulchella (Boisduval, 1852)


Family: Nymphalidae
Subfamily: Nymphalinae
Identification: Upperside is orange and black. Underside of forewing is yellow-brown with a yellow bar at the cell and small black patches on the inner margin. Underside of hindwing is yellow-brown with rusty markings.
Wing Span: 1 - 1 3/4 inches (2.5 - 4.5 cm).
Life History: Males patrol just above vegetation during the day. Females lay eggs in large batches on underside of host plant leaves. Caterpillars feed on leaves; young ones sometimes live in a loose web. Partially-grown caterpillars hibernate.
Flight: One flight from June-August in the mountains and far north, two flights from May-September on plains, three or four flights from April-October in lowland California.
Caterpillar Hosts: Various asters (Aster and Machaeranthera species).
Adult Food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Flats and open areas, fields, meadows, and streamsides from plains to mountains.
Range: Central Alaska and northern Canada south to southern California, southern Arizona, and southern New Mexico; east to the western edge of the Great Plains.
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. Note:Formerly referred to as Phyciodes campestris. Recently referred to as Phyciodes pulchellus, possibly erroneously.
Comments: NULL