The small white crescent moon on the wing of the Pearl Crescent Butterfly is a good indicator to use for identifying it.
Pearl Crescent Butterfly Videos
A weathered Gulf Fritillary Butterfly taking coneflower nectar
Color variations within the species is usual, though all tend to be orange with brown and black markings. The small white spot stands out because it is almost completely surrounded by brown patches. It is visible when the wings are closed, on the underside of the wing. The black and white banded antennae of this species each end in a club (ball) that is orange. This species is very popular and quite familiar in eastern North America, though it is also found in the west as well.
Adults can be seen most anywhere: fields, roadsides, forest clearings, near creeks or streams and in gardens and backyards. They fly low to the ground and alternate between flapping their wings and gliding for a bit when in flight.
Larvae feed on aster plants. The caterpillar is brown and has yellow rings on it as well as loads of spiky hairs.
Scientific Name: Phyciodes tharos
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 25mm to 38mm (0.98in to 1.48in)
Colors: orange; black; brown; yellow; white; gray; blue
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.