wild indigo duskywing (Erynnis baptisiae)
CONFIRMATION STATUS: Confirmed.
FAMILY: Skippers (Hesperiidae)
SUBFAMILY: Spread-wing Skippers (Pyrginae)
IDENTIFICATION: Upperside of forewing is dark on the basal half and
lighter on the outer half, with a distinct orange-brown patch at the end
of the cell. 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 in open areas on low shrubs to wait for
females. Eggs are deposited singly on the host plant. Fully-grown
caterpillars from the second brood hibernate.
FLIGHT: Two broods from late April to early June and from July to
WING SPAN: 1 3/8 - 1 5/8 inches (3/5 - 4.1 cm).
CATERPILLAR HOSTS: Usually wild indigo (Baptisia tinctoria), but
also others including wild blue indigo (Baptisia australis), lupine (Lupinus
perennis), false lupine (Thermopsis villosa), and crown vetch (Coronilla
ADULT FOOD: Nectar from flowers of blackberry, white sweet clover,
dogbane, sunflower, crimson clover, and probably others.
HABITAT: Open woods and barrens for native hosts. Highways, railroad
beds, and upland fields for the introduced crown vetch.
RANGE: Southern New England and southern Ontario west to central
Nebraska; south to Georgia, the Gulf Coast, and southcentral Texas.
The Wild Indigo duskywing is rapidly expanding its range and
abundance by colonizing plantings of crown vetch along roadways
and railroad beds. Comments: The Columbine, Wild Indigo, and Persius
dusky wings belong to the "Persius complex," a confusing group of very
CONSERVATION: Not usually required.
NATURESERVE GLOBAL STATUS: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally,
though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the
MANAGEMENT NEEDS: None reported.
SKY MEADOWS OCCURRENCE:
Note: Due to seasonal conditions in this region, occurrence may vary from
year to year. The designation of occurrence may range over two or more
categories and may vary even during a single season.
Key to Checklist
A Abundant: Easy to see very large numbers of individuals in appropriate habitat
at proper time of year.
C Common: Usually each to see good numbers of individuals in appropriate habitat
at proper time of year.
U Uncommon: Sometimes found in appropriate habitat and proper time of year,
usually in low numbers.
O Occasional: Found in appropriate habitat perhaps only a few times a year, usually
in low numbers.
R Rare: Small chance of being found, even in appropriate habitat at proper time of
year. There are few individuals and may not be present every year.
X Extirpated: Formerly present, no longer occurs in Sky Meadows Park.
Calendar of Events
Sky Meadows Park
Crooked Run Valley