Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Columbine Duskywing
Erynnis lucilius (Scudder & Burgess, 1870)

Family: Hesperiidae
Subfamily: Pyrginae
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.
Wing Span: 1 3/16 - 1 5/8 inches (3 - 4.2 cm).
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.
NCGR: G4 - Apparently secure globally, though it might be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: None reported.
Comments: NULL