West banner

East banner

Central banner

Mylitta Crescent Butterfly

Eastern Washington

Picture of mating Mylitta Crescent butterflies or Phyciodes mylitta
Mylitta crescent butterflies or
Phyciodes mylitta

Mylitta crescent butterfly caterpillars (Phyciodes mylitta) are adapted mainly to thistles as their food plants, including natives and weedy introductions alike. Relatively common, the adult butterflies live on nectar their thistle hosts and a vast assortment of flowering plants.

Mylitta cresent butterflies look a tad like tiny fritillaries with dots on the upper wing surface, with a row of crescent shapes inside the brown-black margin of the hind wing and one big moon on the ventral hindwing. Dorsal wing surface is orange-red while the ventral wing is orange-yellow. Mylitta crescents have a wingspan of 1-1/8 to 1-1/2 inch.

Picture of Mylitta Crescent butterfly showing ventral crescent
Mylitta crescent butterfly
with bird notch at ventral crescent

Mylitta Crescent butterfly picture
Mylitta crescent caterpillar
on host wavyleaf thistle

Mylitta crescent butterfly underside wing
Mylitta crescent butterfly underside