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pearl crescent

pearl crescent (Phyciodes tharos)

Features and Behaviors

The pearl crescent is a small, brown butterfly with many black marks on the wings. The wingspan is about one and one-fourth to one and five-eighths inches. Males have a black knob at the tip of each antenna. The upper side of the wings is orange-brown with dark brown or black markings. The lower side of the wings is yellow-orange. There is a crescent in the dark marginal patch of the hind wings. The caterpillar is dark brown with brown spines and white head patches.

The pearl crescent butterfly may be found statewide in Illinois in open weedy areas, roadsides, pastures and fields. It is active April through November. Two to four broods are produced each year. The larvae feed primarily on asters. The species overwinters in the larval stage.

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Nymphalida

Illinois Status: common, native