Its brown color, similar spot pattern, and multiple variations make Horace's Duskywing easy to mistake for other Duskywings.
Fast in flight, Horace's Duskywing is a difficult butterfly to identify quickly. Careful examination of wing pattern, color, and season of activity are needed to differentiate it from Juvenal's Duskywing. And even then, it can be complicated. For example, Horace's Duskywing does not have two white spots on its hindwings, but usually Juvenal's do yet some individuals do not. Horace's Duskywing has a cluster of 4 translucent spots that may appear white in bright light on the dark brown wings. Two additional, solitary spots lay beneath this cluster. Some darker brown marks form understated rows on the wings.
Males sit on plants that are low to the ground and scout for females. Mating typically happens at mid-day. Females lay fertilized eggs on young branches of oak trees. Caterpillars feed on the leaves of a variety of oak tree species. In warmer areas, two generations are produced with any late-season caterpillars overwintering.
Adults visit flowers from goldenrod, peppermint, dogbane and winter cress. They enjoy sunbathing in open areas. Look for them in oak forests, open fields, roadsides, meadows and gardens in the summer.
Scientific Name: Erynnis horatius
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 36mm to 50mm (1.40in to 1.95in)
Note: 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 as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.