PEARL CRESCENT AND SILVERY CHECKERSPOT
Silvery Checkerspot butterfly. This species is larger than the Pearl Crescent and slightly less common. The most noticeable difference (other than size) is that some of the dots in the bottom row are square-shaped and have white centers.
Pearl Crescents have a long flight period; they can fly from mid-April through early November (weather permitting).
Pearl Crescents are one of our area's most abundant butterfly species (perhaps second only to the Cabbage White in sheer numbers). Pearl Crescents are found in almost every grassy field, meadow, and lawn. The photo at left shows several Pearl Crescents crowded onto a single Queen Anne's Lace flowerhead.
Silvery Checkerspots have at least two broods. I see them from late May through mid-June, and also from late-July through August. In 2018, I found one individual on September 16th, an unusually late date for this species. Wet meadows are the best habitat for them.
This is a female Pearl Crescent. (Females tend to be lighter in color than the males.)
This is a melanic Pearl Crescent, a rare dark form. Photographed at Cox Arboretum on September 4, 2021.
A late-season Pearl Crescent, nectaring on a white cosmos flower.