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Species Phyciodes batesii - Tawny Crescent

Tawny Crescent - Phyciodes batesii - male Tawny Crescents - Phyciodes batesii - male Tawny Crescents - Phyciodes batesii - male Checkerspot of some sort? - Phyciodes batesii - female Butterfly likes orange - Phyciodes batesii - male Butterfly - Phyciodes batesii - female Butterfly - Phyciodes batesii - female Lepidoptera - Phyciodes batesii - male
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Papilionoidea (Butterflies (excluding skippers))
Family Nymphalidae (Brushfooted Butterflies)
Subfamily Nymphalinae (Crescents, Checkerspots, Anglewings, etc.)
Tribe Melitaeini
Genus Phyciodes (Crescents)
Species batesii (Tawny Crescent)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Eresia batesii Reakirt, [1866]. Type locality: originally given as “Gloucester, New Jersey” [later changed by Scott (1994) to Winchester, Frederick County, Virginia, because the only extant syntype specimen is from there]
named subspecies (all very similar, but distinction can be made through geography):
Phyciodes batesii lakota Scott, 1994. Type locality: Pine Ridge, Sioux County, Nebraska
Phyciodes batesii maconensis Gatrelle, 1998. Type localtiy: Jones Knob, 4100', Macon County, North Carolina
Phyciodes batesii saskatchewan Scott, 2006. Type locality: Halfway Lake (N of Edmonton near Clyde) Alberta
note: added by David J. Ferguson, February 1, 2014 [opinion]
Phyciodes batesii anasazi Scott, 1994. Type locality: near Gateway, Mesa County, Colorado.
Phyciodes batesii apsaalooke Scott, 1994. Type locality: W Hidden Basin Campground, Bighorn County, Wyoming. It seems doubtful whether these are really subspecies of P. batesii, though male individuals (particularly of ssp. apsaalooke) can show a distinct resemblance to P. batesii. See more dicussion under P. cocyta. Currently these subspecies are listed in literature as part of P. batesii, and will, for the present, be placed under this species if posted to BugGuide.
Identification
Can be confused with other Phyciodes species, but distguished by nearly mostly black antennal clubs lacking orange color [often with small white tip and/or grayish on part of underside, rarely with brownish tinge near tip]; under side of front wings with two bold broad black markings near inner margin (one in middle and one near tornus); with apical area of under front wings usually predominated by orange, with little contrasting dark color and no whitish pattern (as often seen on similar species). Under hind wing in males nearly even tawny yellow-orange with marginal dark patch around pale cresent usually poorly developed [female similar, but paler with much more developed pattern of fine dark lines]. Males usually easily identifiable, but females are more likely to be confused with other species.
Also: P. cocyta usually has a less developed dark pattern on the front wing and upper hind wing, and has the appical/lower portion of antennal club orange. P. phaon usually has the median area of the upper front wing paler (often nearly white), smaller dark marking on the lower front wing, and a distinctly black and white looking pattern on lower hind wing and apical area of lower front wing. P. tharos is most likely to be confused, but usually has much more orange patterning on on the basal area of the upper wings, as well as smaller dark markings that are usually not as distinctly inter-connected; often (not always) has obvious orange or orange-brown color on antennal clubs.
All three species are variable, and there are occasional specimens (usually females) which will be nearly impossible to identify, especially from a photo alone.
Range
Southern Canada and northern U.S. from Quebec, New England and Pennsylvania to northeast Britisch Columbia, Alberta, Montana, and ne. Wyoming. Occurs on northern Great Plains as scattered colonies, mostly associated with wooded areas in broken terrain south to the Pine Ridge in Nebraska.
Presence of the species in the Rocky Mountains (n. WY to n. NM & AZ) depends on interpretation of populations there as members of P. cocyta or P. batesii (see notes above and under P. cocyta).
Habitat
Mostly prairie openings and margins in or adjacent to wooded areas. Most often in areas of somewhat broken or rocky terrain.
Season
Adults in one brood, primarily in June and July.
Food
Larval hosts - Aster. Adults are avid flower visitors.
Internet References
Butterflies and Moths of North America; has notes on identification, biology, and distribution. note that male and female photos shown at present time [Feb. 1, 2014] are not P. batesii, but rather P. cocyta, or perhaps P. tharos.