Phaon Crescent

Phyciodes phaon

Summary 5

Phaon Crescent (Phyciodes phaon) is a common species that can easily be confused with the Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos). The Phaon Crescent has a distinct cream-colored median band on the forewing and in the Pearl Crescent the median band is orange. The subterminal band on the forewing of the Phaon Crescent is more developed and has a small black dot in the orange cells nearest the posterior margin. In the Pearl Crescent the orange cells of the subterminal band is less developed and there are small black dots in the two orange cells along the posterior margin. On the underside of the forewing in the Phaon Crescent the cream-colored median band extends from the costa to the orange subterminal band (Figs. 2-3). In the Pearl Crescent the underside forewing median band is concolorous with the basal 3/4 of the underside.

Description 5

Forewing is dark orange and black with a pale cream median band (also visible on the underside). Underside of hind wing is cream to yellowish with a distinct, short, cream-colored median band extending from costa to orange subterminal band; spring and fall butterflies (form marcia) have a gray hind wing. Wing span is 14 to 16 mm.

Larva Description 5

Larvae are variable in color from olive to brown with dark subdorsal bands and white lateral bands. Both thoracic and abdominal segments have transverse bands of scoli each of which bears brown setae.

Larval host plants 5

Phaon crescent larvae feed on lanceleaf fogfruit (Phyla lanceolata) and turkey tangle fogfruit (Phyla nodiflora) in the verbena family (Verbenaceae).

GTM Occurrence 5

The Phaon Crescent is a common species at the GTM. It is most commonly found in the open habitat of Transect A. In the forest it is most common along the Marsh Pond Overlook (Transect B) and there has been only a single observation on the Glasswort Loop (Transect C). The Phaon Crescent flies all year with peak abundance in November and December, though commonly sited throughout the year. There have been 778 specimens observed as of December 28, 2015.

Distribution 6

Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) Southeastern California and southern Nevada, east to North Carolina and Florida. Emigrates north as far as Nebraska. Also occurs south through Central America to Guatemala.

Habitat 7

Moist open areas: desert springs, weedy fields, marshes. Habitats are usually close cropped very low vegetation such as pastures, roadsides and dunes in the southeastern USA.

Nature serve conservation status 8

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Reasons: Widespread and abundant, tolerates disturbance.

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Richard Crook, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-ND),
  2. (c) Mary Keim, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA),
  3. (c) Anne Toal, some rights reserved (CC BY),
  4. (c) GTMResearchReserve, all rights reserved, uploaded by GTMResearchReserve
  5. (c) GTMResearchReserve, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)
  6. (c) NatureServe, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),
  7. (c) NatureServe, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),
  8. (c) NatureServe, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),

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Category name Common