Dreamy Duskywing Butterfly

The Dreamy Duskywing Butterfly (Erynnis icelus) is a small insect in the Hesperiidae family of Skipper butterflies. It is also known as the Aspen Dusky Wing.

The Dreamy Duskywing Butterfly is dark-brown and light-brown with silvery-grey. The male and female look similar, but the male tends to be darker. The thick, brushed abdomen is dark-brown to black with grey rings. It has long antennae and long palps. 

Dreamy Duskywing Butterfly

Its wingspan is 2-4 centimetres (1 – 1.5 inches) across.

It is found in North America, from the Northwest Territories to Alabama and Georgia, as well as southern Canada. It prefers moist woodlands.

It flies close to the ground, feeding on plant nectar or moisture in damp soil with its proboscis. It is usually seen in clusters on the ground.

The life cycle is egg, larva (caterpillar), chrysalis, and adult. The female has an ovipositor, which she uses to lay eggs on leaves. The eggs hatch after about 8-14 days into pale-green caterpillars that feed on leaves. The caterpillar forms a casing called a chrysalis. The adult butterfly emerges from the chrysalis after about 14 days.  

The adult Dreamy Duskywing Butterfly is seen from April to early July.

Location of photographs: Nashville, Tennessee, North America, March 2023 

Photographer: Michael Catalano 


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