Pearl Crescent Butterflies Rank Among the Under-appreciated

Pearl Crescent Butterfly at Raccoon Creek State Park

Pearl Crescents are smallish butterflies that we see at clearings along trails, in cut areas in public parks and in our home gardens.

In the Eastern U.S., Commas, Red spotted-purples, Emperors and Pearl Crescents are the dependable butterflies that monitor and escort you as you hike trails.

Phyciodes tharos ranks as an under-appreciated butterfly, more often than not registering disappointment when it is firmly identified and forecloses the possibility that you’ve seen something ‘special.’

Our female is nectaring on an Oxeye Daisy flower. Pearl Crescents are categorized as generalists because they will sip at a wide variety of flower species. Our female verifies this, feeding on Oxeye daisies. When such nectar pumpers as Milkweed, Teasel, Dogbane and Butterflyweed are in bloom, she is at this Oxeye Daisy. The other wildflowers have heavy traffic coming and going. Oxeye Daisies can go 30 or more minutes without a butterfly, bee or fly setting down to feed. Does she visit there to avoid the crowd?

Her wings are intact. She lacks the damage that many butterflies endure to the trailing edges of their wings. Believe it or not, the academics are yet unable to explain what if anything causes them to suffer little or no abuse from predators.

At August 12th at Raccoon Creek State Park’s Wildflower Reserve on Rte. 30, two miles north of Janoski’s Farmstand, please join us from 1:00 to 3:00 Pm for our 7th Annual Butterflies of Western Pennsylvania presentation/field walk? We know that our friends in Canada, the U.K., India, Israel and Australia won’t be able to make it, but we hope you will join us. Swim at the Park lake, get your picked this morning produce, and enjoy our visual menu of winged beauties.