Columbine Duskywing

Erynnis lucilius

This species is very similar to the Wild Indigo Duskywing, and it is very difficult to separate these two species in the field or in photos. In addition, they are so much alike that even experts may not even be able to identify collected specimens correctly. In _The Butterflies and Skippers of Ohio+ the authors note that there are only two probable records of this species in Ohio. They refer to these records as probable because an expert on Duskywings could only “tentatively” identify them as Columbine Duskywings.

This species has been found in eastern Wisconsin where no Wild Indigo Duskywings has been found. Thus, in the eastern counties, this Duskywing might be thought of as easy to identify because there are no similar skippers. On the other hand, when a similar Duskywing is seen in the southern and central counties along the Mississippi River, the observer should very watchful and notice what host plants are being utilized.

Weekly sightings for Columbine Duskywing

Identifying characteristics

A small dark Duskywing that is probably indistinguishable from the Wild Indigo Duskywing in the field.

Similar species

See the discussion of the difference between the Wild Indigo Duskywing and the Columbine Duskywing on the Wild Indigo Duskywing page.

Habitat

Trails and roadsides, ravines, and steep wooded slopes where Wild Columbine grows.

Flight

This species has two broods in Wisconsin, with the first brood occurring in late May through June and the second in July and into August.

Abundance

Not common in Wisconsin, but can become somewhat abundant where it is found.

Late Columbine Duskywing Sightings

Date County Reported by
Jul 23, 2000 Grant James C. Parkinson
Jul 31, 2011 Vernon Daniel Jackson
Aug 7, 2012 Crawford Douglas Buege
Aug 11, 2012 Trempealeau Aaron Carlson
Aug 30, 2010 Grant Karl and Dorothy Legler

Locations

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

Blue River Bluffs SNA, Grant Co., WI. May 10, 2009.

Columbine DuskywingClick to enlarge

Laying an egg

Blue River Bluffs SNA, Grant Co., WI. May 10, 2009.

Columbine DuskywingClick to enlarge

Blue River Bluffs SNA, Grant Co., WI. May 10, 2009.