Florida Duskywing (Ephyriades brunneus [Herrich-Schäffer])
Wing span: 1 5/8 - 1 7/8 inches (4.2 - 4.8 cm).
Identification: Male upperside is black with a silky sheen and a circle of white transparent spots near the apex. Female upperside is brown with dark mottling and outer margins; forewing has more and larger transparent spots than the male.
Life history: To wait for females, males perch in full sunlight about 1 1/2 feet above the ground on bare twigs. Eggs are deposited on leaves and young shoots of the host plants. Caterpillars feed on leaves and rest in leaf shelters.
Flight: Many flights throughout the year in southern Florida.
Caterpillar hosts: Key byrsonima (Byrsonima lucida) and Barbados cherry (Malpighia glabra).
Adult food: Nectar from flowers of low plants and flowering shrubs including Bidens alba, Croton granduosus, and Lantana involucrata.
Habitat: Tropical pine-Sabal palm scrub.
Range: Tropical southern Florida and the Keys; the West Indies. A rare stray to Honduras.
Conservation: Monitor Florida populations and take action if necessary.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: GU - Unable to assign rank due to lack of available information.
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. Smith, D. S., L. D. Miller, and J. Y. Miller. 1994. The butterflies of the West Indies and South Florida. Oxford University Press, Oxford. 264 pages, 32 color plates.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann