Appearance: Antennal clubs of male are orange; females are darker than males. Generally orange above with bold black edging and fine black lining in basal areas of each wing. Forewing shows prominent black patches; hindwing with orange areas more open. Underside of hindwing is orange with darker areas on trailing edge which sometimes shows a crescent-shaped spot.
Size: Small; slightly smaller than 1 1/2 inches.
Habitat: Montane meadows with flowers
Season: June to mid-August in the montane (Angel, 2005)
Larval Foodplant: In the montane meadows smooth aster is a plant used by the larvae (Angel, 2005). Eggs are laid in bunches of about 40 on the underside of the host plant leaves. Caterpillars eat leaves, and young ones live and feed communally. Third stage caterpillars overwinter.
Did You Know…
Some question whether this species is a distinct species from the pearl crescent (Phyciodes tharos) though the two overlap broadly without much hybridization (Brock, 2003).
Species Gallery (click to enlarge)