|Mylitta crescent butterflies look
somewhat like tiny fritillary butterflies on the upper side of the wing,
except that they have a row of orange crescents within a brown-black
margin along the edge of their wings.
The butterflies have a wingspan of 1-1/8 to 1-1/2
inch. The underside is yellow-orange with somewhat blurry rusty orange
Crescents are relatively common having a range that extends from
southern British Columbia southeast through the Rocky Mountain region to
Mexico; and are also found in Washington, Oregon, and California. They
inhabit a variety of ecosystems including mountains, fields, meadows,
vacant lots, parks, and fencerows at elevations from sea level to 8000
Crescent butterflies are named
for the crescent shaped patterns on their wings.
Mylitta Crescent Butterfly caterpillars are adapted
mainly to thistles as their food plant while adult butterflies live on
the nectar of their thistle hosts and an assortment of native and
introduced flowering plants. Males can often be found perching or
patrolling near host plants for females. After mating, females deposit
eggs on underside of the host plant leaves.