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Butterflies of Minnesota -- Erynnis lucilius

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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Minnesota

Columbine Duskywing (Erynnis lucilius)
JPG -- species photo

Columbine Duskywing (Erynnis lucilius [Scudder & Burgess])

Wing span: 1 3/16 - 1 5/8 inches (3 - 4.2 cm).

Identification: Upperside is dark brown; brown patch at end of forewing cell is indistinct. Underside of hindwing has marginal and submarginal rows of well-defined pale spots. Male has a costal fold containing yellow scent scales; female has a patch of scent scales on the 7th abdominal segment.

Life history: Females deposit eggs singly under leaves of the host plant. Caterpillars feed on leaves and rest in shelters of leaves. Fully-grown caterpillars from the second brood hibernate.

Flight: Two broods from April-September.

Caterpillar hosts: Wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) and sometimes garden columbine (A. vulgaris) in the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae).

Adult food: Flower nectar.

Habitat: Rocky deciduous or mixed woodland and edges, especially in ravines or gullies.

Range: Southern Quebec and southern New England west to Minnesota; south to New Jersey and Pennsylvania; south along the Appalachians to Virginia and Kentucky.

Comments: The Columbine, Wild Indigo, and Persius dusky wings belong to the "Persius complex," a confusing group of very similar butterflies.

Conservation: Not usually required.

The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G4 - Apparently secure globally, though it might be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.

Management needs: None reported.

References:

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.

Author: Jane M. Struttmann

State and Regional References:

Layberry, R.A., Hall, P.W. & Lafontaine, D.J., 1998.  The Butterflies of 
     Canada.  University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON.  280 pp.
     
Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format.
     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.     
Columbine Duskywing (Erynnis lucilius)
distribution map
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