The mylitta crescent (Phyciodes mylitta) is a butterfly found in fields, meadows, along roadsides and fence rows and in vacant lots west of the Rocky Mountains.
Closely allied to the checkerspots (see “Chalcedon Checkerspot Butterfly” 06-20-12) but smaller, mylitta crescents are reddish orange with narrow dark markings. Crescents are identified by the orange crescent in the black brown margin along the edges of their wings. The sexes vary slightly.
Mylitta crescent larvae (caterpillars) feed on thistles, both native and alien, while adults sip flower nectar.
Partially grown mylitta crescent larvae hibernate over the winter.
This mylitta crescent was photographed near the Tule River in the McArthur Swamp near McArthur CA.