Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos)

The Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos) was another butterfly I encountered last Saturday afternoon. I think I'd seen one once before but hadn’t been able to photograph it. I thought I was going to be disappointed again.

I first saw one as I was walking up the path from the creek. I tried to sneak up on it and either took one step too close or made too much noise when I stepped on some dried leaves. It flew off further up the path. In spite of moving up the path quietly, I spooked again and I lost track of it. When I then walked through a section of wildflowers behind the greenhouse, I spotted either the same, or another, Pearl Crescent that was sitting on a blade of grass and basking in the sun. It posed for some time, opening and closing its’ wings. I left it in peace.

I got this photo of the ventral wing pattern. Notice the big, green eyes.

Some time later, after I had stalked the Red-banded Hairstreak and the Eastern Tailed-Blue, a pair of mating Pearl Crescents flew onto the grass nearby and, although they moved around a little, I was able to get a good photo of the dorsal wing pattern.

Identification resources:

- West Central Georgia Butterflies by Michael Beohm: Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos)

- BugGuide: Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos) [Dorsal] [Ventral]

Click the image to view a larger image

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