Image Credit: Kathleen P., taken in Schuyler Lake, NY
Identifying a Northern Crescent can be quite difficult thanks to its intense similarities to a close cousin, the Pearl Crescent.
Many butterflies share similar colors and features, but the Northern and Pearl Crescent can sometimes be identical. While many individual Pearl Crescents have much more black on them than a typical Northern Crescent, there are some, especially older, faded Pearls, that make it impossible to tell the two species apart. Some scientists suggest they may not even be separate species. Because the likeness is so close between certain individuals, it is entirely possible that the images displayed for this entry are actually Pearl Crescents. Generally, Northern Crescents are more orange than their relatives.
Scientific Name: Phyciodes coctya
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 25mm to 45mm (0.98in to 1.76in)
Colors: orange, black, white
Descriptors: worn spots, flying, black dots, white fringe
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.