Dun Skipper (Euphyes vestris [Boisduval])
Wing span: 1 1/8 - 1 3/8 inches (2.9 - 3.5 cm).
Identification: Upperside of head and thorax is yellow-orange. Wings are brown-black; male forewing has a black stigma, female forewing has very small cloudy white spots.
Life history: To find receptive females, males perch in low spots about 3 feet from the ground. Females lay eggs singly on leaves of the host plants. Caterpillars feed on leaves and make shelters of rolled or tied leaves. Third-stage caterpillars hibernate, emerge in the spring to complete their development, and pupate in silken tubes at the base of the plants.
Flight: One brood from June-early August in the north; two broods from May-September in the mid-South; several broods from March-October in the Deep South and Texas.
Caterpillar hosts: Various sedges including chufa flatsedge (Cyperus esculentus) and sun sedge (Carex heliophila).
Adult food: Nectar from white, pink, or purple flowers including common milkweed, purple vetch, selfheal, peppermint, dogbane, New Jersey tea, and viper's bugloss.
Habitat: Wet areas near deciduous woods such as meadows, seeps, swamp edges, and streams.
Range: Nova Scotia west across southern Canada to southern Alberta; south to Florida, the Gulf Coast, and eastern Texas. Separate populations in the high plains and Rocky Mountains, and on the Pacific Coast.
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. Tilden, J. W. 1986. A field guide to western butterflies. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. 370 pages, 23 color plates.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann
State and Regional References:
Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.