Pearl Crescent Butterfly

(Phyciodes tharos)

The Pearl Crescent is a common butterfly throughout most of the United States, except for the Northwest ans extreme Southwest.

It is usually on the wing from spring to fall and can be seen year round in areas of the Deep South.

One of the most ubiquitous of the garden butterflies.

Pearl Crescents is known to dart out after objects small and large.


This butterfly is predominantly orange above, with numerous black patches and a black margin.

It is lighter orange on the undersides.


This butterfly is found in various open areas where its host plant "Asters" occur.

This includes vacant lots, roadsides, meadows and your gardens if you have asters growing.


Males are active mud-puddlers and are often seen patrolling open areas in search for females.

This butterfly is a dorsal basker (enjoys a sunny location) and a low flier.

Larvae and Hosts:

The larvae feed of various species of aster. They are mostly black, with yellow bands and spots with numerous black spines running down the body.

Nectar Plants:

Crescents enjoy composites such as thistle (Cirsium), aster (Aster), Gloriosa daisy (Rudbeckia hirta) and a host of other nectar rich plants.

Make sure you have a wild version of Rudbeckia. The garden variety R. Goldsturm is more attractive, but produces less pollen and nectar.

Offer a mud puddle or wet spot to attract a variety of butterflies to your gardens

A butterfly garden has several plants with flat headed flowers like Black-eyed-susan, asters, phlox, sunflowers and so on.

Plant your flowers in groups as the are easier for near sighted butterflies to find.

More important are the host plants for the larvae. Without the host plants there wont be the next generation.

Pearl Crescent and Other Common Butterflies

More butterfly Information

A Butterfly Friendly Yard

Create a Butterfly Garden

Butterfly Plants and Nectar Flowers

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