Monday, May 4, 2009
Pearls in the Timber
This pretty little gem is the Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos). They are a rather small butterfly with a wingspan of about 1-1 3/4 inches. They are one of the most common species of butterflies in the Eastern portion of the United States. They are found in a variety of habitats, including timber edges, roadsides, backyards, gardens, meadows, etc. This one was found near some timber dividing our crop ground. I spotted it near the ground, it was hard to miss with those bright orange wings. I approached it and found that it was very tame. It allowed me to place it on my finger. I placed it back on the vegetation and it spread its wings and posed for the second photo. Very cooperative I must say. The adults of this butterfly nectar at various flowers including aster, milkweed, dogbane and wintercress. The caterpillars host plant are asters. Their coloration can vary a little. Spring and fall broods have a mottled grayish-brown underwings. Some will have black spots on the hindwings near the margin.