A. texana life history
Texan Crescent (Anthanassa texana) Life History

3-9-10, ovipositing

Eggs, 3-23-10

Recently emerged caterpillars, 3-24-10

A different group of caterpillars eclosing, 4-26-10






4-11-10, a mature caterpillar

A caterpillar about to pupate, 4-10-10

New chrysalis, 4-11-10

Fresh Texas Crescent, 4-17-10

Even before I began actively paying attention to butterflies in my yard, I was aware that Texan Crescents were breeding there: the caterpillars frequently decimated the shrimp plants left behind by the previous resident. However, it was in March, 2010, that I found them using a naturally-occurring plant. I spied the female pictured at the right ovipositing on Texas Wrightwort (Carlowrightia texana). At least, I thought I did. After the female left, I founds some eggs which I collected, and then I raised Elada Checkerspots (T. elada). All was not as it seemed - but now I knew what host plant elada was using.

While gathering food for the elada caterpillars, I accidentally collected another cluster of eggs. These did prove to be Texan Crescents, and they are the caterpillars featured in this study. In April of 2010 I found eggs on Tube Tongue (Siphonoglossa pilosella) that also proved to be Texas Crescents, making Tube Tongue a second native plant used by this butterfly.

It can be challenging to distinguish early instars of Elada Checkerspots and Texas and Vesta Crescents. The tan underbelly of the Texan Crescent is one identifying mark. Also, the face appears to be plain black, while the other two species have more pronounced white markings. The white spots seen in the picture below are not easily seen by the naked eye.

Face of Texas Crescent

It took 24-26 days for this group of caterpillars to grow from egg to adult.

A previous life history of Texan Crescents can be seen here.

Texan Crescent Page