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Species Page - Phyciodes batesii
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scientific name    Phyciodes batesii    

common name     Tawny Crescent

Open, sandy pine woods and prairie badlands.

One brood, most commonly flying between mid June to early July.

The crescents form a complex group of poorly understood species, partly as a result of the fact that they are often very similar in appearance. Extensive genetic research by Wahlberg et al. (2003) has not clarified the species relationships. The Tawny Crescent is similar to P. tharos and P. cocyta, but has more upperside black markings than cocyta, and the tip of the antennal club is black and white, not not black, white and orange as in cocyta and tharos. This character is not reliable for separating females of these species. Female crescents in general have more black markings on the upperside and paler orange spots in addition to the orange ground colour; and are best identified by association with males from the same population. Our populations are subspecies lakota (Scott 1994).

life history
Scott (1994) provides a detailed description of the immature stages. The eggs are pale green, laid in clusters and the mature larvae are dark brown with spines and cream spots. Larvaer overwinter in the fourth instar, and live in communal silk nests in the early instars (Scott 1994). The Tawny Crescent has a localized didtribution in Alberta, and is not encountered as often as the other crescents.

Not of concern.

diet info
Tawny Crescent larvae feed on Aster laevis in Nebraska (Scott 1994), likely the main host throughout its range according to Scott (1994).

Southwestern NWT south to Arizona in the mountains, east across southern Canada and the northern US (Opler 1999).

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Comments (3)Add New Comment

Simone Allard (2010-11-26)
I would like to know whether this species was named after Henry Walter Bates.
Thank you!

Felix Sperling (2010-11-27)
Yes, according to the etymology section for Phyciodes batesii written up in Bird et al. 1995 Alberta Butterflies, the species was named after THE Bates of Batesian mimicry. But I don''t know more than that.

Simone Allard (2010-11-28)
I appreciate your response! I do wish I knew whether Phyciodes batesii was named because it tried to mimic other Phyciodes species for some reason. Possibly to blend in with larger populations and not stand out?
Thanks again,

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Related Species Info
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References (4)
Specimen Info
There are 5 specimens of this species in the online database
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Adult Seasonal Distributioncreate a collection histogram with specimens
Specimen List (5)


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