Phaon Crescent Butterfly
WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY – ENCHANTED FOREST PARK, FL
Phaon Crescents (Phyciodes phaon) are a Southern species of butterfly that live and breed in areas where Frogfruit (the larval food) thrives.
The orange and black wing pattern, with the black spots on the bottom of the hindwing, makes them an easy species to confuse with other Phyciodes species. The lighter marks down the middle of the forewing are a good field identification clue.
Adults nectar on frogfruit and other flowers, often those growing close to the ground.
The Phaon Crescent Butterfly is one of the many local residents you are not likely to see unless you have a patch of its favorite plant, Frog Fruit, to attract it. This is a smallish orange and brown butterfly with black accents. If the underside of the hindwing is chalk-colored to yellowish cream, you probably have Phaon Crescent Butterflies in your garden. It will lay large clusters of eggs on Frog Fruit, but only very few survive to adulthood. The caterpillars are olive with brown and cream-colored stripes, and branching spines.