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Copyright by: CJ McCartney, 2021.
Small butterfly measuring up to 1 3/4" in length. The upperside is orange in color with black borders crossed by fine black marks. The underside has a dark patch containing a light-colored crescent. Spring and fall forms have a gray mottled hindwing below. Caterpillars are dark gray to black with many short spines and cream lines that run laterally.
Sandhills, flatwoods, and open disturbed areas such as pastures, road edges, vacant lots, and fields.
Several broods throughout the year in Florida. Green eggs are laid in clusters under host plant leaves.
Opportunistic breeders. Freshly emerged males gather at damp ground.
Caterpillars feed on leaves of host plants. Larval host plants include the native rice button aster (Symphyotrichum dumosum) and white oldfield aster (Symphyotrichum pilosum). Nectar host plants include the native swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata).