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Dreamy Duskywing (Erynnis icelus)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Dreamy Duskywing

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Image Credit: Alex -icycatelf- Bowen
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The Dreamy Duskywing is a small, charming forest butterfly that may go unseen because it blends in so well with its woodland home.

Updated: 09/23/2020; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Dreamy Duskywings are dark brown. Their forewings have a slight outward bend on the outer edge that a similar-looking relative, the larger Sleepy Duskywing, lacks. Underneath, the forewings have ivory spots, which differ from most other Duskywings in that they are not transparent or glassy. On the top side of each forewing is a grayish band bordered in black. On the top of each hindwing are rows of light, ivory spots at the bottom edges which can be seen when the wings are spread flat. Look for flying adults near forest boundaries from late spring through early summer.

Larvae are fleshy, light green, and plump in the middle. The head is brown with two bulges at the back where the abdomen begins. These caterpillars feed on the leaves of willow, aspen, poplar, birch, and other trees. One brood is produced each year.

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Hesperiidae
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          Genus: Erynnis
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            Species: icelus
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Erynnis icelus
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 29mm to 38mm (1.14" to 1.49")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown, ivory, gray, black
Descriptors: dark, flying

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 29mm (1.1in) and 38mm (1.5in)
Lo: 29mm
Md: 33.5mm
Hi: 38mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Dreamy Duskywing may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Dreamy Duskywing. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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