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Columbine Duskywing (Erynnis lucilius)

Detailing the identifying qualities of the Columbine Duskywing, including physical features and territorial reach.

 Updated: 2/17/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Columbine Duskywing  
Picture of Columbine-Duskywing-Butterfly

The delicate, colorful columbine flower is a favorite food and hangout for northern Columbine Duskywing adults and caterpillars.

Columbine Duskywings are found along the states and provinces that border Canada and the U.S.. They are dark brown with four small white spots near the edge of the forewings and two more spots that are closer to the midline. They are similar in appearance to Wild Indigo Duskywings, whom share southern parts of their range.

Females lay a round fertilized egg on the leaf of columbines. Caterpillars have black heads and green fleshy bodies covered in a veil of yellow dots, giving them an overall yellow appearance. Two or three broods can be produced each year. Larvae eat the leaves of wild columbine flowers and adults drink the flower's nectar. Look for active adults in spring through fall in meadows, ravines, roadsides and rocky areas where columbines grow.

Columbine Duskywing Information

Category: Butterfly or Moth
Common Name: Columbine Duskywing
Scientific Name: Erynnis lucilius

Taxonomy Hierarchy

 Arrow graphic Kingdom: Animalia
  Arrow graphic Phylum: Arthropoda
   Arrow graphic Class: Insecta
    Arrow graphic Order: Lepidoptera
     Arrow graphic Family: Hesperiidae
      Arrow graphic Genus: Erynnis
       Arrow graphic Species: lucilius

Size, Identifying Tags and Territorial Reach

Size (Adult, Length): Size (Adult, Length): 32 mm to 42 mm (1.248 inches to 1.638 inches)
Identifying Colors: brown, white
Additional Descriptors: mottled, line, patch, dots, spots, flying

North American Territorial Reach (Though Not Limited To): Delaware; Indiana; Iowa; Kentucky; Michigan; Minnesota; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; Ohio; Pennsylvania; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Saskatchewan; Quebec

A Note About Territorial Reach: Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above. Insects are driven by environmental factors, food supplies and mating patterns and do not nescessarily work within hard-and-fast territorial lines like we humans do.

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