Sleepy Duskywing

Erynnis brizo

The Sleepy Duskywing is one of the earliest butterflies on the wing in the spring — besides species who overwinter as adults — and has been seen as early as April 9 in Michigan. In central Wisconsin, they are most often seen flying in May and become scarce in June.

This species and the Dreamy Duskywing are easily distinguished from the other Duskywings by the lack of white spots near the leading edge of the forewing above. I most often see this species flying with the Juvenal’s Duskywing, which is larger and has fairly large, offset white spots.

Weekly sightings for Sleepy Duskywing

Identifying characteristics

A black or dark brown skipper without white spots near the leading edge of the forewing, a postmedian band of lighter coloring surrounded by black markings that form an irregular chain-link pattern. This same pattern occurs as another band, not so distinct, closer towards the body. The hindwing above has two rows of light dots that are also present below.

Similar species

The Sleepy Duskywing should only be confused with the Dreamy Duskywing. See the discussion about the differences between these two species on the Dreamy Duskywing page.

Habitat

Forest edges, open woodlands, and oak barrens where its larval host plants, various species of oaks, are found.

Flight

One brood. Flies mainly in May and June, but may occasionally be seen in April and early July.

Abundance

More common than the Dreamy Duskywing in the southern half of the state, but it is unlikely to see more than one or two in one location.

Early Sleepy Duskywing Sightings

Date County Reported by
Apr 5, 2012 Sauk Ann Thering
Apr 6, 2012 Jackson Daniel Jackson
Apr 7, 2012 Jackson Mike Reese
Apr 14, 2012 Juneau Douglas Buege
Apr 14, 2012 Jackson Mike Reese

Locations

Map showing sighting locations for Sleepy Duskywing
Map key
Sleepy DuskywingClick to enlarge

West of Wazee Park, Jackson Co., WI, May 7, 2005.

Sleepy DuskywingClick to enlarge

West of Wazee Park, Jackson Co., WI, May 7, 2005.

Sleepy DuskywingClick to enlarge

Sandhill Wildlife Area, Wood Co., WI. May 22, 2005.