Sabine National Forest,
Sabine Co., Texas
17 May 2013
Observed during our Warbler Warm-Up:
not absolutely certain
Tiny little guys (~3 cm). Female (left) & male (right). They were definitely going about together. The female was slowly fanning her wings when I took this, while the male was just sitting there.
For Pearl vs Northern Crescent, I think these would be considered Pearl. The orange area in the hindwing here has some black lines, rather than being more open like a typical Northern. The only Northern records in NJ are in the NW highlands (this is SW lowlands). And Pearl usually have black antennal clubs (unlike the female here), but not always.
However, the plot thickens: turns out "Pearl Crescent" may actually be 2 species. Apparently some of the "Pearl Crescents" with orange club tips may actually be a separate species, called variously the Pearl Crescent Intermediate Form or the Summer Crescent. So the female here might be an example of one of these.
See excellent detailed discussion here from outdoors2magic.
But the male has black club tips, & thus looks like a bona fide Pearl. So if these individuals are different species, shouldn't somebody tell them that? (Granted, I didn't actually see them mating, just keeping company.) And if they have separate flight times, why am I seeing them together?
near Blackwater River,
Riley's Bluff area,
Santa Rosa Co., Florida
29 March 2013
The Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos) is butterfly of North America. It is found in all parts of the United States except the west coast, and throughout Mexico and parts of southern Canada, in particular Ontario. Its habitat is open areas such as pastures, road edges, vacant lots, fields, open pine woods. Its pattern is quite variable. Males usually have black antennal knobs. Upperside is orange with black borders; postmedian and submarginal areas are crossed by fine...