Northern Broken-Dash (Wallengrenia egeremet [Scudder])
Wing span: 1 - 1 1/2 inches (2.5 - 3.9 cm).
Identification: Upperside is dark brown. Male forewing has a cream spot at the end of the cell, and a divided stigma (the "broken dash"); female forewing has a few elongated cream spots. Underside is dark brown or purple-brown; hindwing has a pale band of spots.
Life history: Adults have a slow flight. Males perch up to 6 feet above ground to wait for females, usually in the early morning. Caterpillars eat leaves; half-grown caterpillars hibernate.
Flight: One brood from June-August; two broods from May-October in the Deep South and east Texas.
Caterpillar hosts: Panic grasses including deertongue grass (Panicum clandestinum) and P. dichotomum.
Adult food: Nectar from white, pink, or purple flowers is favored including dogbane, red clover, New Jersey tea, and sweet pepperbush. Many other flowers are visited.
Habitat: Open places near woods or scrub.
Range: Southern Maine and southern Ontario west across the Great Lakes states to southeastern North Dakota; south to central Florida, the Gulf Coast, and southeast Texas.
Conservation: Not usually required.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management needs: None reported.
Opler, P. A. and G. O. Krizek. 1984. Butterflies east of the Great Plains. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 294 pages, 54 color plates. Opler, P. A. and V. Malikul. 1992. A field guide to eastern butterflies. Peterson field guide #4. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston. 396 pages, 48 color plates. Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates. Stanford, R. E. and P. A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of western USA butterflies including adjacent parts of Canada and Mexico. Denver and Fort Collins, CO.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann
State and Regional References:
Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.