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Bug of the Week: Texan Crescent Butterfly

Do you remember our recent butterfly gardening week? Today we have additional evidence that "if you plant it, they will come."

Look what was in our yard:

new-texan-crescent-bst16A brand new Texan crescent butterfly was drying its wings!

Since it was so freshly emerged, it seemed likely that its caterpillar had been feeding on a nearby plant. Which one? (If you'd like to see what the caterpillars look like, Butterflies of America has a page of photographs.)

Dicliptera-flower-055

After consulting two books about Arizona butterflies, apparently Texan crescent caterpillars feed on a plant called Arizona foldwing, Dicliptera resupinata.

Dicliptera-leaves-044

We just happen to have Arizona foldwing growing in that area of the yard. How cool is that? Hopefully, we'll see some Texan crescent caterpillars soon.

Last week we talked about butterfly families and gave the answers to our previous post, butterfly identification for beginners.

What butterfly family does a Texan crescent belong to?

new-texan-crescent-side-074Let me give you a hint. Count the number of legs.

Doesn't it look like the adult butterfly has only four legs? That means it is a brush-footed butterflies or member of the family Nymphalidae. Although it does have front legs, they aren't used for standing.

 Do you have any caterpillar food plants in your yard?

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