Crescent butterflies (genus Phyciodes) are so-called for their crescent-shaped spot on the underside of their hindwing, but their intricate orange-and-black patterns on the upperside are more likely to catch your eye. These beauties fly direct and low with alternating series of flaps and flat-winged glides. The Mylitta graces a wide variety of habitats, including urban areas, dry fields and wet meadows, woodland openings and mountain canyons, from sea level to treeline. Caterpillars primarily feed on thistles. The Mylitta Crescent looks very similar to the Northern Crescent (Phyciodes cocyta), but the Northern has thick, black borders on both wings of the upper side.
Size: Wingspan 27–32 mm
Photo by: Kristi DuBois on 9/26/21 near Lolo Pass, MT