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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Illinois

Dukes' Skipper (Euphyes dukesi)
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Dukes' Skipper (Euphyes dukesi [Lindsey])

Wing span: 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 inches (3.8 - 4.5 cm).

Identification: Upperside is sooty black; male forewing has a stigma, female forewing has a few pale spots. Underside of hindwing is pale brown with a yellow streak through the cell.

Life history: Males patrol to find receptive females. Eggs are deposited singly under host plant leaves. Fourth-stage caterpillars overwinter.

Flight: Two broods from June-September in the mid-South; three broods from May-November in the Deep South.

Caterpillar hosts: Sedges including hairy sedge (Carex lacustris) and shoreline sedge (Carex hyalinolepis).

Adult food: Nectar from flowers of pickerelweed, sneezeweed, hibiscus, and blue mistflower.

Habitat: Shaded tupelo swamps, partially shaded marshes or ditches.

Range: Three populations in the eastern United States: 1) along the Atlantic Coast from southeast Virginia to northern peninsular Florida, 2) the lower Mississippi Valley from central Missouri and southern Illinois south to the Gulf Coast, and 3) southern Ontario, southeastern Michigan, northeastern Indiana, and northern Ohio.

Conservation: Populations should be conserved wherever found.

The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G3 - Very rare or local throughout its range or found locally in a restricted range (21 to 100 occurrences). (Threatened throughout its range).

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.
Sedman, Y. and Hess, D.F.  1985.  The Butterflies of West Central Illionois.
     Series in the Biological Sciences No. 11.  Western Illinois Univ., Macomb, 
     IL.  118 pp.
Dukes' Skipper (Euphyes dukesi)
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