Phaon Crescent

Phyciodes phaon


Photograph by Susan Leach Snyder

The female phaon crescent lays clusters of 50 to 100 light green eggs on the bottom of the leaves of its host plant, Phyla nodiflora (Fog Fruit, aka Creeping Charlie). Creeping Charlie is a low-growing ground cover. Each creeping Charlie flower has a purple center and white petals. It is a member of the Verbena family and serves as both a nectar and larval source for the phaon crescent.

Although we often see Creeping Charlie in our gardens, no eggs, caterpillars, or chrysalises of the phaon crescent have been spotted.... only the adults.

Phaon crescent caterpillars are olive with brown and cream-colored stripes and branching spines. Only about 5% of the caterpillars survive to become adults because most are killed by parasitic flies, wasps, and other predators.

Adults have been observed sipping nectar from the common beggar-ticks (Spanish needles.)



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