Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Genus Erynnis - Duskywings

Juvenal's Duskywing - Erynnis juvenalis Mating Afranius Duskywings - Erynnis afranius - male - female Is this Wild Indigo Duskywing? - Erynnis baptisiae - female Wild Indigo Duskywing - Erynnis baptisiae - male Rocky Mountain Duskywing Butterfly - Erynnis Erynnis juvenalis Funereal Duskywing - Erynnis funeralis - female Duskywing - Erynnis juvenalis
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Papilionoidea (Butterflies and Skippers)
Family Hesperiidae (Skippers)
Subfamily Pyrginae (Spread-wing Skippers)
Tribe Erynnini
Genus Erynnis (Duskywings)
17 species in North America; 13 in Canada
See "description & taxa" under INTERNET REFERENCES below for characteristics and biology of the group.
Life Cycle
1) egg. 2) First instar. 3) Later instar. 4) Adult female E. juvenalis. 5) Adult male E. meridianus
The genus Erynnis (Duskywings) is probably the most difficult group of North American butterflies to identify in the field. However, the identity of a particular individual can often be narrowed to a few possibilities by noting the habitat and examining the range maps for each species (see INTERNET REFERENCES section below). A further critical comparison of an individual's key field marks to those in reliably identified images is often enough to arrive at a certain or near-certain ID; examination of the genitalia may be required in some cases but is usually not necessary when the preceding steps have been taken with due care.

Pelham (2008;(1)) lists species (Canada & USA only; ssp. listed in Pelham but not here -HW) in four groups based on Burns (1964; see reference below):
1. icelus group Burns, 1964:
contains icelus, brizo
2. juvenalis group Burns, 1964:
contains juvenalis, telemachus, propertius, meridianus, scudderi, horatius, tristis
3. zarucco group Burns, 1964:
contains martialis, pacuvius, zarucco, funeralis
4. persius group Burns, 1964:
contains baptisiae, lucilius, afranius, persius
Print References
Burns, J.M. 1964. Evolution in skipper butterflies of the genus Erynnis. Univ. Cal. Publ. Entomol. 37: 1-217. (see also the internet link to the phylogeny page at Tree of Life, based on Burns, 1964)
Internet References
1. Butterflies of America page for genus Erynnis, with thumbs of pinned and live specimens, some larvae, habitat photos, and more.
2. Description & taxa with links to images, info, & range maps of Canadian species (CBIF)
3. Live adult images of 5 species found in Massachusettes (NABA)
5. Phylogeny of Erynnis Schrank, 1801, at Tree of Life.
Works Cited
1.A Catalogue of the Butterflies of the United States and Canada
Jonathan P. Pelham. 2008. The Lepidoptera Research Foundation, Inc.