Friday, June 1, 2012

Butterfly of the Week

Juvenal's Duskywing

Erynnis juvenalis (Fabricius 1793)
Status: Uncommon breeding resident
Flight: A single flight from mid April to mid June.
Distinguishing features: Juvenal's Duskywing is the only species of its genus in the state that has prominent hyaline spots on the fore wings, with two sub apical pale spots on the ventral hind wing. Wingspan: 3.5-4 cm.
Distribution and habitat: Map 87. Essentially found across the entire state, although it appears to be more common in the eastern third. It occurs in a variety of oak-dominated forests and may be more common in undisturbed forest habitats.
Natural history: The larvae of Juneval's Duskywing feed on oaks and make leaf-nests. The adults are fast flyers and may often be seen resting on vegetation or puddling along roadsides and trails.
Questions: Do the leaf-nests of different Erynnis larvae all look the same? Do all Erynnis larvae eat the same parts of oak leaves? Which oak species are favored by this species in Iowa? How do larvae avoid predation? 

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