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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Mylitta Crescent - Phyciodes mylitta


Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5

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General Description
[From Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001; Pyle 2002] Forewing 1.5-2.1 cm. Forewing outer margin angled, antennae knobs orange. Uppersurface orange with black lines and spots, females with yellow-orange median band and more strongly banded with black network; undersurface forewing dull orange, sometimes with black submarginal streak, hindwing orange-brown sometimes with whitish median band and whitish submarginal crescent heavily haloed with brown.

Phenology
Multiple flights; February to November in the south, April to September in the north (Scott 1986). March to October at lower elevations, April to September at higher elevations (Glassberg 2001); mid-March to mid-October with peaks in mid-May and July-August in Oregon and Washington (Pyle 2002); late April to August in British Columbia (Guppy and Shepard 2001).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Best determined by a combination of uppersurface extensively orange relative to most other cresents, undersurface forewing dull orange, sometimes with black submarginal streak, hindwing orange-brown sometimes with whitish median band and whitish submarginal crescent heavily haloed with brown.

Species Range
Montana Range

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Range Comments
Southern British Columbia and central Montana south mainly west of the continental divide to northern Baja and southern Mexico, east of divide in extreme southern Colorado and New Mexico to extreme southwestern Kansas (Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001); typically 1830-2745 m elevation in the Rocky Mountains (Ferris and Brown 1981). In Montana, reported from all counties west of the continental divide and a few east of the divide with montane topography (Kohler 1980; Stanford and Opler 1993). Uncommon to common (Glassberg 2001).

Summary of Observations Submitted for Montana
Number of Observations: 10

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Relative Density

Recency

 

(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)



Migration
Non-migratory.

Habitat
Agricultural fields, open meadows, prairie, dry roadsides near clearings, marshes, streamcourses in foothills and mountains, forest edges, towns (Scott 1986; Threatful 1988; Opler and Wright 1999; Pyle 2002). Habitat apparently not described for Montana.

Food Habits
Larval food plants include primarily Cirsium (several species) but sometimes Carduus, Centaurea, Mimulus, and Silybum (Scott 1986, 1992, 2006; Pyle 2002; James and Nunnallee 2011). Adults feed on flower nectar (including Anaphalis, Aster, Chrysothamnus, Cirsium, Leontodon, Leucanthemum, Ranunculus, Rubus, Rudbeckia, Senecio, Solidago, Trifolium), scat, and mud (Scott 1986; Pyle 2002; James and Nunnallee 2011).

Reproductive Characteristics
Females lay eggs in large clusters (40 to 270 eggs) on underside of host plant leaves (Scott 1986, 1992; James and Nunnallee 2011). Eggs hatch in 8-11 days, develop from L1 instar to L5 instar and pupation in about 25 days (depending on temperature); adults eclose (emerge from pupae) in about another 8-12 days. L1-L3 instars gregarious, sometimes live in silk nest, L4-L5 more solitary, all instars feed openly; L3 or L4 instar overwinters (Guppy and Shepard 2001; James and Nunallee 2011). Males perch throughout the day between shrubs but also patrol territories along roads, trails, watercourses in search of females (Scott 1975b, 1986; Pyle 2002; James and Nunnallee 2011).

References
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Citation for data on this website:
Mylitta Crescent — Phyciodes mylitta.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from