Meridian Duskywing (Erynnis meridianus Bell)
Wing span: 1 5/8 - 1 7/8 inches (4.2 - 4.8 cm).
Identification: Fringes of hindwing are pale-tipped. Wings are black. Pattern on upperside of forewing has very little contrast with background. Transparent spots are small in the male, large in the female. Underside of hindwing is a uniform brown; spots below apex are very small or absent. Male has a costal fold containing yellow scent scales; female has a patch of scent scales on the 7th abdominal segment.
Life history: Males perch on hilltops to wait for females. Fully-grown caterpillars hibernate.
Flight: Two broods from March-September in the Southwest.
Caterpillar hosts: Arizona white oak (Quercus arizonica) and plateau oak (Q. fusiformis); perhaps others.
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Oak thickets in foothills.
Range: Southern Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and west Texas south to Mexico City.
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.
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