Saturday, June 3, 2017

Northern Crescent

This elegant Northern Crescent landed in front of Scott King and me as we returned from our unsuccessful 26 May search for a Southern Spreadwing. The afternoon, however, proved to be entertaining. 

Northern Crescents are very similar to Pearl Crescents. Some Lepidopterists consider them to be variations of a single species. Pearl Crescents are found across eastern North America. Northerns are found further north and west, and also south through the Rocky Mountains. A lot of range overlap exists, with little hybridization between the two forms. Brock and Kaufman warn that many individuals can not be told apart. 

This butterfly is clearly a Northern Crescent. Note the row of dark dots against the orange across the back of the hind wing. Immediately above these dots is a broken black line. This line is continuous in a Pearl Crescent.

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