Thursday, April 19, 2012

Juvenal's Duskywing

Duskywings are a difficult group of butterflies to sort from each other. Duskywings belong to the family Hesperiidae, i.e., the skippers. Unlike typical skippers they hold their wings spread out at rest (as opposed to the jet plane posture). As the name indicates, duskywings are dull brown, and they have remarkably similar wing markings. Two things point to this being a Juvenal's Duskywing, however. First, the pattern of small white spots, especially on the undersides of the wings, is closer to what would be expected of a Juvenal's Duskywing than similar species. Second, the uppersides of the wings are covered with fine white hairlike scales, a trait that is not true of the very similar Hoarce's Duskywing. In its larval form, this species feeds on oaks. This individual was sipping moisture or minerals at a mud puddle.