Erynnis martialis - (Scudder, [1870])
Mottled Duskywing
Other English Common Names: mottled duskywing
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Erynnis martialis (Scudder, 1870) (TSN 706746)
French Common Names: hespérie tachetée
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.111322
Element Code: IILEP37100
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Insects - Butterflies and Moths - Butterflies and Skippers
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mandibulata Insecta Lepidoptera Hesperiidae Erynnis
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Opler, P. A., and A. D. Warren. 2002. Butterflies of North America. 2. Scientific Names List for Butterfly Species of North America, north of Mexico. C.P. Gillette Museum of Arthropod Diversity, Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado. 79 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B02OPL01EHUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Erynnis martialis
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 02Sep2011
Global Status Last Changed: 28Mar2008
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Widespread but apparently discontinuous distribution and reported "colonial" and "seldom abundant." Severe decline east of Ohio, and apparently in North Carolina, rare in Georgia. Increasing threats from out of control deer in entire eastern part of range and Ontario (if not yet extirpated). Threats from gypsy moth spraying. Suitability of Midwestern burn regimens very uncertain. Imperiled to critically imperiled or (mostly) extirpated northeastward, uncommon or possibly imperiled to the southeast and in eastern Midwest, apparently more stable westward but local and uncommon at best. Besides occurring in few places this species also usually occurs in very low numbers. Most of a dozen or so recent North Carolina observations have been of one or two individuals (LeGrand and Howard, 2008) and the maximum is only five. The status in Georgia appears to be similar, that is an individual or two turns up in various places some years (James Adams). Current status in Kentucky is uncertain but Covell (1999) called it uncommon despite old or recent records from nine counties. It does occur, but is not presumed protected, in several parks and preserves there. The mottled duskywing is, or at least recently was, less scarce in the Albany, New York Pine Bush and was also seen in moderate numbers until the mid 1980s in the Pennsylvania serpentine barrens (DFS) where it was eradicated after heavy deer browsing by 1996. This species is now rare, very rare, seriously imperiled, historic, or known extirpated from about the eastern 40% of its range and is not common anywhere. Threats at least from deer are likely to increase It is no longer considered secure. There may be other factors involved in its decline besides deer and habitat loss. This species has not been evaluated by Rank Calculator.
Nation: United States
National Status: N3 (26Oct2009)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N1N2 (23Aug2017)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (SU), Arkansas (S2S3), Colorado (S2S3), Connecticut (SX), Delaware (SH), District of Columbia (SNR), Florida (S1), Georgia (SU), Illinois (S1), Indiana (S2S3), Iowa (S3), Kansas (S2), Kentucky (S2S3), Louisiana (S3), Maryland (S1), Massachusetts (SX), Michigan (SU), Minnesota (SU), Mississippi (SU), Missouri (S4), Nebraska (S2), New Hampshire (SX), New Jersey (SX), New York (S1), North Carolina (S2), Ohio (S1?), Oklahoma (S3), Pennsylvania (S1), Rhode Island (SH), South Carolina (SNR), South Dakota (SNR), Tennessee (S3S4), Texas (S1), Virginia (S1S3), West Virginia (S1), Wisconsin (S2), Wyoming (SNR)
Canada Manitoba (S1), Ontario (S2), Quebec (SH)

Other Statuses

Implied Status under the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC):PS: E,E
Comments on COSEWIC: Erynnis martialis was assessed as two populations by COSEWIC in November 2012. The Great Lakes Plains population is designated as Endangered; and the Boreal population is designated as Endangered.

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 200,000 to >2,500,000 square km (about 80,000 to >1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: The historic range is essentially as shown by Brock and Kaufman (2003), but with the species historic in New England, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Ohio, and nearly extirpated in Ontario, the New York portion of the current range probably should be regarded as a now widely disjunct and isolated remnant, and Ontario is not longer part of any contiguous range. Thus the core range as of about 2010 is from northeastern West Virginia south to southern Georgia and recently (maybe not now) the Florida panhandle, then west including portions of all of the Gulf states (at least historically) into northeastern (formerly central) Texas and north in the centrl states to Minnesota and Wisconsin, including much of Iowa, eastern parts of Kansas and the Ozarks (Opler and Krizek 1984; Brock and Kaufman 2003), exending east primarily near the Great Lakes across northern Illinois, extreme northern Indiana, at least foremrly widely in Michigan, into extreme northwest Ohio, and formerly a narrow band along the Lakes in southern Ontario barely into Quebec. There is a large gap in the range where it did not occur in most of West Virginia and most of the northern Ohio Valley States, nor in Vermont. It is found as naturally disjunct, isolated populations in northwestern Nebraska, the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains in central Colorado, and in the Black Hills (Stanford 1981, Stanford and Opler 1993, Opler 1994, Opler and Krizek 1984, Brock and Kaufman, 2003) and apparently still occurs in those states. The species may no longer occur in some states in the core range, but is extant in most of the states it is known from west of the Mississippi River, including Texas, Arkansas (Edward Knudson), Iowa (barely, Aaron Brees) as well as in Wisconsin and New York (Robert Dirig, David Wagner, Tim McCabe). Several colonies have been found recently (1990s, 2000s) in the shale region of the Virginias (D.L.Wagner and others) which might be its stronghold now, especially if any of these still function as metapopulations. In North Carolina (LeGrand and thomas, 2011) the species is has recently been found very rarely in the Sand Hills, Piedmont (apparently no longer present) and it still turns up occasionally in northern Georgia (James Adams). This species was reported in a recent (late 1990s-2000s) inventory of Great Smokey Mountains National Park.

Area of Occupancy: Unknown 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: In New York less than 1000 hectares elsewhere no real idea, but typically populations probably occupy dozens of hectares or occur as patchy metapopulations over larger areas like in New York. In some places area of occupancy will fluctuate from year to year, e.g. in relation to fires.

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Very little idea in some western parts of range but very few north and east. Probably down to 2-5 sites remaining for the USA from Pennsylvania and Maryland north and east. Layberry et al. (1998) indicate about five occurrences remain in Ontario and one in Quebec but Schweitzer (2011) based on information from J.D. Lafontaine reports only one of six Canadian localities has been verified extant this century. The species persisted into the 1970s in New Jersey where it seems to have been common, and its foodplant was commercially harvested about 200 years earlier and sold as a tea substitute. There are actual specimens known from nine counties, mostly before 1950, and reports for four more. The species is historic in the four New England States in which it occurred, as well as Quebec, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Ohio and possibly no longer occurs in Florida where it would be premature to conclude it is gone. The species still occurs in the shale region of the Virginias which should harbor more colonies than are now known, perhaps even a few dozen. LeGrand and Howard (2011) document the decline in the Carolinas where the species was once widespread. It apparently still occurs in the Sand Hills and mountains of North Carolina and it is extant in northern Georgia, where there were three verified populations in the 1990s, and near Thomasville near the Florida border, but none have been seen at the one documented Florida site since 2005. This seems like another 5-10 occurrences for the Carolinas to Florida. According to Edward Knudson (email to D. Schweitzer, July 2100) this really was once common in northeast Texas and verified from 13 counties, but is now largely confined to a few protected areas in Smith and Anderson Counties. Now possibly found mostly in the Great Lakes Region, where it is ranked SU in Michigan and Minnesota, S2 in Wisconsin, S1 in Illinois, S2S3 in Indiana, and still ranked S1? in Ohio. The Indiana rank, among others, may not reflect current information. A major unknown is the western most parts of the core range, especially in Iowa (S3), Missouri (S4?), Kansas (S2), Arkansas (S2S3) and Oklahoma (S3). The species probably should be ranked S1 in Texas based on the information from Ed Knudson and be re-evaluated in in these other five states. There were also disjunctions in a small area of northwest Nebraska (S2) and more widely in Colorado (S2S3) barely into New Mexico (Brock and Kaufman, 2003 map). There are probably under 50 remaining populations, and possibly under 20, in the former eastern (New England to Florida) and Great Lakes portion of the range plus Texas. With information so weak or old from so many states from Kentucky (S3) south and westward, it is unclear whether or not there are as many as 80-100 populations, or perhaps a bit more.

Population Size: Unknown
Population Size Comments: Seldom abundant (Pyle, 1981). Everywhere apparently local in occurrence (Burns, 1964).

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Unknown
Viability/Integrity Comments: Definitely not zero, but the term "viable" should not be applied where deer hunting is not allowed or where entire habitats are likely to be burned over a two year or less interval.

Overall Threat Impact: High
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Threats include long-term fire suppression which may result in habitat being eliminated by spreading forests or high shrubbery; inappropriate (too frequent, too much burned in one year) prescribed burning regimens in the Midwest and now especially out of control deer in much of the East. Although massive gypsy moth spraying (mainly with DDT and carbaryl) was almost certainly a factor, but sole cause, in the collapse of this species in the Northeast, it is much less certain that current practices pose a widespread threat--although there is cause for concern in states such as West Virginia where Dimilin is used. The sensitivity of the larvae to Btk based sprays is unknown. Invasion of habitats by alien weeds such as cheatgrass in the West may result in higher fire frequency and elimination of host populations or eradication of this skipper even if the plants persist (Paul Opler). Deer have almost certainly accounted for or contributed substantially to most recent (1980s-1990s) extirpations in Northeast and deer were probably the sole cause of extirpation on the Pennsylvania serpentine barrens, and they are a serious threat in much of the East from Ontario to the Carolinas at least.

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Short-term Trend Comments: This species has disappeared from Pennsylvania and Ohio since 1990 and more recently from most Canadian sites, and seems close to doing so in most of North Carolina. It is reportedly declining in Texas.

Long-term Trend: Decline of 50-90%
Long-term Trend Comments: Due to unreliable records, it is unclear how widespread this ever was eastward so the magnitude of loss there is not clear. The range has been reduced by at least 30%, and area of occupancy and numbers by 90-100% in much of the range. This species is quite rare now east of the Mississippi river and not common westward. It apparently no longer occurs in Quebec and is close to extirpation in Ontario. The mottled duskywing is historic, and probably extirpated in at least four New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecicut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, probably Maryland, and Ohio.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Unknown. Colonial species (e.g. Opler 1984). Although it occupies a diverse set of habitats, the mottled duskywing is seldom abundant (Pyle, 1981). Low estimated abundance and colonial nature of this species may make it susceptible to local extinction due to habitat destruction by anthropogenic development or environmental stochastic events.

Environmental Specificity: Narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements common.
Environmental Specificity Comments: Requires substantial xeric barrens, alvars, oak savanna or other rare habitats as well as adequate foodplant in most parts of range.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Inventory apparently suitable habitat.

Distribution
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Global Range: (200,000 to >2,500,000 square km (about 80,000 to >1,000,000 square miles)) The historic range is essentially as shown by Brock and Kaufman (2003), but with the species historic in New England, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Ohio, and nearly extirpated in Ontario, the New York portion of the current range probably should be regarded as a now widely disjunct and isolated remnant, and Ontario is not longer part of any contiguous range. Thus the core range as of about 2010 is from northeastern West Virginia south to southern Georgia and recently (maybe not now) the Florida panhandle, then west including portions of all of the Gulf states (at least historically) into northeastern (formerly central) Texas and north in the centrl states to Minnesota and Wisconsin, including much of Iowa, eastern parts of Kansas and the Ozarks (Opler and Krizek 1984; Brock and Kaufman 2003), exending east primarily near the Great Lakes across northern Illinois, extreme northern Indiana, at least foremrly widely in Michigan, into extreme northwest Ohio, and formerly a narrow band along the Lakes in southern Ontario barely into Quebec. There is a large gap in the range where it did not occur in most of West Virginia and most of the northern Ohio Valley States, nor in Vermont. It is found as naturally disjunct, isolated populations in northwestern Nebraska, the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains in central Colorado, and in the Black Hills (Stanford 1981, Stanford and Opler 1993, Opler 1994, Opler and Krizek 1984, Brock and Kaufman, 2003) and apparently still occurs in those states. The species may no longer occur in some states in the core range, but is extant in most of the states it is known from west of the Mississippi River, including Texas, Arkansas (Edward Knudson), Iowa (barely, Aaron Brees) as well as in Wisconsin and New York (Robert Dirig, David Wagner, Tim McCabe). Several colonies have been found recently (1990s, 2000s) in the shale region of the Virginias (D.L.Wagner and others) which might be its stronghold now, especially if any of these still function as metapopulations. In North Carolina (LeGrand and thomas, 2011) the species is has recently been found very rarely in the Sand Hills, Piedmont (apparently no longer present) and it still turns up occasionally in northern Georgia (James Adams). This species was reported in a recent (late 1990s-2000s) inventory of Great Smokey Mountains National Park.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, CO, CTextirpated, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MAextirpated, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NHextirpated, NJextirpated, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, WI, WV, WY
Canada MB, ON, QC

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AR Miller (05091)
CO Arapahoe (08005)*, Boulder (08013), Douglas (08035), Jefferson (08059), Larimer (08069)
CT Fairfield (09001)*
DE New Castle (10003)*
FL Okaloosa (12091)
IA Monona (19133), Plymouth (19149), Woodbury (19193)
IN Harrison (18061), Jasper (18073), La Porte (18091), Lake (18089), Newton (18111), Perry (18123), Porter (18127), Starke (18149), Washington (18175)
LA Natchitoches (22069), St. Helena (22091)*, St. Tammany (22103), Tangipahoa (22105)*, Vernon (22115)
MA Hampshire (25015)*, Norfolk (25021)*
MD Allegany (24001), Baltimore County (24005)*, Harford (24025)*
NC Alamance (37001)*, Ashe (37009), Brunswick (37019)*, Buncombe (37021), Caswell (37033), Chatham (37037)*, Clay (37043), Cleveland (37045), Craven (37049)*, Cumberland (37051), Durham (37063), Franklin (37069), Graham (37075), Granville (37077), Henderson (37089), Jones (37103)*, Madison (37115), Montgomery (37123), Orange (37135)*, Person (37145)*, Polk (37149), Rutherford (37161), Surry (37171), Swain (37173), Wake (37183)*, Warren (37185), Wayne (37191), Yadkin (37197)
NE Douglas (31055)*, Nemaha (31127), Richardson (31147), Seward (31159)
NJ Camden (34007)*, Essex (34013)*, Gloucester (34015)*, Morris (34027)*, Passaic (34031)*, Sussex (34037)*, Warren (34041)*
NY Albany (36001), Saratoga (36091), Suffolk (36103)*
OK Cherokee (40021)
PA Chester (42029)*, Monroe (42089)*, Montgomery (42091)*
VA Augusta (51015)*, Bedford (51019)*, Botetourt (51023)*, Craig (51045)*, Fauquier (51061)*, Halifax (51083), Montgomery (51121)*, Prince William (51153)*, Rockbridge (51163)*
WI Brown (55009), Burnett (55013), Jackson (55053), Sauk (55111)*
WV Boone (54005), Greenbrier (54025), Hampshire (54027), Hardy (54031), Kanawha (54039), Lincoln (54043), Logan (54045), Mineral (54057)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
01 Saugatuck (01100006)+*
02 Hudson-Hoosic (02020003)+, Mohawk (02020004)+, Middle Hudson (02020006)+, Rondout (02020007)+*, Hackensack-Passaic (02030103)+*, Sandy Hook-Staten Island (02030104)+*, Raritan (02030105)+*, Southern Long Island (02030202)+*, Long Island Sound (02030203)+*, Middle Delaware-Mongaup-Brodhead (02040104)+*, Middle Delaware-Musconetcong (02040105)+*, Lehigh (02040106)+*, Lower Delaware (02040202)+*, Schuylkill (02040203)+*, Brandywine-Christina (02040205)+*, Great Egg Harbor (02040302)+*, Lower Susquehanna (02050306)+*, Gunpowder-Patapsco (02060003)+*, South Branch Potomac (02070001)+, North Branch Potomac (02070002)+, Cacapon-Town (02070003)+, South Fork Shenandoah (02070005)+*, North Fork Shenandoah (02070006)+, Middle Potomac-Anacostia-Occoquan (02070010)+*, Upper James (02080201)+*, Maury (02080202)+*, Middle James-Buffalo (02080203)+*
03 Upper Roanoke (03010101)+*, Middle Roanoke (03010102)+, Lower Dan (03010104)+, Fishing (03020102)+, Upper Neuse (03020201)+, Middle Neuse (03020202)+, Lower Neuse (03020204)+*, Haw (03030002)+*, Upper Cape Fear (03030004)+, Lower Cape Fear (03030005)+*, Upper Yadkin (03040101)+, Lower Yadkin (03040103)+, Upper Broad (03050105)+, Blackwater (03140104)+, Lower Pearl. Mississippi (03180004)+
04 Door-Kewaunee (04030102)+, Little Calumet-Galien (04040001)+
05 Upper New (05050001)+, Greenbrier (05050003)+, Coal (05050009)+, Lower Guyandotte (05070102)+, Blue-Sinking (05140104)+
06 Upper French Broad (06010105)+, Upper Little Tennessee (06010202)+, Tuckasegee (06010203)+, Lower Little Tennessee (06010204)+
07 Upper St. Croix (07030001)+, Namekagon (07030002)+, Lower St. Croix (07030005)+, Black (07040007)+, Lower Wisconsin (07070005)+*, Kankakee (07120001)+, Chicago (07120003)+
08 Tickfaw (08070203)+*, Tangipahoa (08070205)+*, Upper Calcasieu (08080203)+, Liberty Bayou-Tchefuncta (08090201)+
10 Lower Big Sioux (10170203)+, Upper South Platte (10190002)+, Middle South Platte-Cherry Creek (10190003)+*, Clear (10190004)+, St. Vrain (10190005)+, Big Thompson (10190006)+, Cache La Poudre (10190007)+, Salt (10200203)+, Blackbird-Soldier (10230001)+, Little Sioux (10230003)+, Monona-Harrison Ditch (10230004)+, Big Papillion-Mosquito (10230006)+*, Tarkio-Wolf (10240005)+
11 Illinois (11110103)+, Lower Red-Lake Iatt (11140207)+, Lower Sulphur (11140302)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: Butterfly (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae)
General Description: Both sexes are brown dorsally with black patches, lending the butterflies a strongly mottled or banded appearance (Opler and Krizek, 1984). Above and below-light brown with lavender cast; very strong contrasting dark patches on all wings so it appears almost banded; tiny glossy spots on fore wing; brown fringes (Pyle, 1981). Spring or 1st brood phenotype is smaller (male forewing 1.8-1.9 cm) and lighter (with more white scaling) than summer or 2nd brood phenotype (male fore wing 2.0-2.1 cm); gray hairs of male dorsal fore wing concentrated on distal 3rd of wing; hyaline spots small and usually absent in fore wing space cu2-2a in both sexes; ventral hind wing lacks subapical white spots (Scott, 1986). Mature larva-light green with white specks and covered with short hair; head is red, yellow or orange pattern. Eggs-pale green, turning pink before hatching (Pyle, 1981).
Diagnostic Characteristics: Must be verified by specimen or photo but genitalia dissection is usually not needed. Wing spread 31-41 mm, smaller than most E. juvenalis or E. horatius (Scudder and Burgess). Duskywings are difficult even for experts. A sight record should never be accepted as documentation for a new site for this rare species and even photographs can be equivocal. A specimen is strongly suggested for documenting new occurrences, and expert verification may be necessary. See any recent butterfly guide for descriptions and pictures (e.g. Glassberg 1993, 1999). This is a small very strongly marked species most similar to females of the usually much larger E. horatius and these two are confused by butterfly watchers and sometimes collectors. Look for a purplish sheen on fresh individuals and well defined dark spot bands on the hindwing (present but less distinct on other species) and more than usual gray on the forewings but most are not as pale or gray as shown by Brock and Kaufman (2003). Presence of abundant foodplant nearby is also a good clue. Any skipper larva in a nest on New Jersey Tea or any other Ceanothus species in its range will be this species.
Reproduction Comments: Eggs yellow when laid; laid singly on flower pedicels and other parts of host; larvae live in rolled-leaf nests (Scott, 1986).
Ecology Comments: Eastward normally found with other globally rare species including two now comparably rare Geometrid moths that use the same foodplants (Schweitzer, et al., 2011). Where their ranges overlap (or overlapped), that is in the Great Lakes Region, New York and New England, the lupine feeding version of frosted elfin, Erynnis persius persius and the Federally Endangered Karner Blue are/were frequent asociates.
Habitat Type: Terrestrial
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Grassland/herbaceous, Shrubland/chaparral, Woodland - Conifer, Woodland - Hardwood, Woodland - Mixed
Habitat Comments: Habitats were mostly communities where the eastern species of Ceanothus were common, or at least well distributed over dozens of hectares or more, usually in hilly country. At least from Texas and Wisconsin eastward, strongly associated with various sorts of oak (black, post, etc.) or pine (jack, pitch, longleaf) savannas or open woodlands, non-coastal pine barrens, or grassy openings within these communities (Schweitzer et al., 2011), also probably embankments along rivers. In New Jersey, where both this skipper and its foodplant ("New Jersey Tea") were apparently exceptionally abundant (but now extirpated and rare respectively), apparently a variety of open glades on trap rock, limestone, sand, and others, even old fields and sand pits, used to be habitats. Among the last Pennsylvania habitats were two of the larger serpentine barrens. North and east of, but not in, New Jersey, habitats seem to have been mostly on sand plains, in or very near pitch pine barrens. In Canada and New York also alvars. In Texas post oak and pine savannas, and long leaf pine savannas or woodland in the southeast. In western Iowa, found near the summits of prairie hills in the loess soil formation running east of the Missouri River (Opler and Krizek, 1984). Shrubby foothills with stands of Cercocarpus and Ceanothus from 5800 feet to 8200 feet in Colorado. Oak woodlands in Rocky Mountains (Paul Opler, pers. obs., Ferris and Brown, 1981). Males perch on hilltops or along ridges during most daylight hours; they sit on the ground, rocks, or at the tip of small twigs (Opler and Krizek, 1984; Ferris and Brown, 1981).
Adult Food Habits: Nectarivore
Immature Food Habits: Herbivore
Food Comments: Larvae eat leaves of several species of Ceanothus (Rhamnaceae), including C. americanus, C. ovatus, C. fendleri (Scott, 1986, Schweitzer et al. 2011). Reports of other foodplants in older literature are incorrect. Adults sip nectar of flowers, including Ceanothus, knapweed (in New York) and many others. Like most Erynnis, males are often seen sipping moist soil.
Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Hibernates/aestivates
Phenology Comments: Larvae of this genus overwinter fully fed in a weak cocoon in the leaf litter. Pupation is in late winter or early spring, adults appear several weeks later. Some authors report only one flight in mid May-June in Colorado; but there are two flights throughout the rest of the range from ontario to Georgia (Opler and Krizek 1984; Scott, 1986, Layberry et al., 1998, schweitzer et al., 2011), perhaps three in far south such as Texas. In most of the Rocky Mountain region, two generations fly from April to May and July to early September (Stanford, 1981). Eastward it usually appears later in spring than most other species of duskywings. The first brood is mostly in May into June in the Midwest and New York, commonly starting in April southward. Unlike several other duskywings, there are no March records for North Carolina where the first brood persists into June even on the Piedmont, although there is at least one late March record from Georgia and Opler and Krizek (1984) report March 4 in Mississippi. The second brood starts in mid June to mid July from North Carolina northward. Each brood lasts about one month (Glassberg 1999, LeGrand and Howard Butterflies of North Carolina website, Dale Schweitzer observation). The histogram in LeGrand and Howard (Butterflies of North Carolina website) suggests the broods might overlap in North Carolina, although in any given year they probably do not.
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: Deer, fire, and gypsy moth spraying are paramount issues. Refugia are needed in prescribed burning at all seasons since all stages are in the dry litter or on the low foodplant. Eradication from the Chester County, Pennsylvania serpentine barrens apparently due to deer occurred in much less than a decade and within a few years the deer herd was reduced at one of the sites and both Ceanothus feeding Geometridae recovered. This skipper did not and there is no source of colonists within 100 kilometers. The risk from BTK for gypsy moth control would vary with application date. Application would probably usually be before most females eclose, and in that case residue should be largely gone before larvae appear. Applications at the end of or just after the flight season would be most lethal since larvae would ingest BTK in their first or second instar when they are very likely to be sensitive to it. Deer have substantially to drastically impacted the foodplant in the Northeast. This skipper seems to disappear more quickly than Apodrepanulatrix liberaria (Walker) and Erastria coloraria (Fabricius) two Geometridae that feed on the same plants, perhaps because skipper larvae larvae cannot drop off the leaves to escape becoming deer food. Increasing threats from out of control deer in the entire eastern part of range and Ontario are serious threats, as are threats from gypsy moth spraying in West Virginia and Pennsylvania (if still this species is extant in either). Suitability of Midwestern burn regimens is very uncertain. Generally though, management programs suitable for Karner Blue Butterfly should work for the Mottled Duskywing. Their phenologies where they occur together are very similar and except for the overwintering stage and foodplants, many aspects of their ecology are similar.


Biological Research Needs: Investigate the geographically isolated univoltine western mountain populations. Rather urgent need to reseaerch management requirements eastward. It would be very useful to determine how sensitive this species is to BTK as applied against gypsy moth--no evidence exists on this topic.
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Pyrginae

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: A location where the species occurs, or recently has occurred, where there is potential for persistence or regular recurrence. Minimally a suitable habitat with the larval foodplant where at least one adult has been verified by a photograph or preferably a specimen. Photographs must be diagnostic and will may need to show both wing surfaces, and there will be circumstances where only a specimen or genitalia examination of one will suffice. Specimens are much easier to obtain. Sight records are not an acceptable basis for a new EO. High quality occurrences will generally support metapopulations.
Mapping Guidance: Consult the habitat and food comments fields for species-specific information on what constitutes suitable habitat when mapping occurrences for individual species.
In very many cases the habitat will be very obviously defined, e.g. eastward a pine barrens or savanna, a ridgeline with many outcrops, a powerline, or multiple foodplant patches within an airport approach zone. Westward metapopulations may be confined to obvious features like a canyon, a stretch of riparian zone or a ridge system. In such cases use the boundaries for the feature supporting the overall metapopulation and it may be useful to map major foodplant patches within these. With a few exceptions such as oak feeding ERYNNIS, most species in this group feed as larvae on plants, usually legumes or mallows, that are typically not community dominants and are often patchy or sparse. So where practical base boundaries on obvious habitat features.

Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 2 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Alternate Separation Procedure: When dealing with multiple patches of habitat within an obvious feature like a pine barrens, airport approach zone or powerline, consider all as one metapopulation subject to the suitable habitat distance. On most right of ways or if tthe species is occurring patchily along a riparian corridor, apply the suitable habitat distance unless the foodplant really is completely absent for at least half that distance.
Separation Justification: Most species use small discrete habitats or have patchy foodplant two kilometers across really unsuitable habitat should nearly isolate EOs. However, with marginal habitat use the 10 kilometer figure. On the other hand some adults do wander, especially in summer broods, and even the most localized species seem to be unable to persist long as isolated colonies, but do so mostly as metapopulations. Note the drastic decline of ERYNNIS MARTIALIS and E, PERSIUS PERSIUS eastward, including numerous state extirpations, once they became isolated on a few ridges and small (few hundred hectares) barrens. Even common species such as THORYBES BATHYLLUS often exist in very low densities patchily over large areas and often fail to occupy or persist in small habitat scraps. On the other hand around airports and in right of ways most to all habitat patches are typically occupied at least some of the time. Most Pyrginae are not usually found in dense numbers. These observations strongly suggest much movement and a general need for metapopulations although better data would be desirable, Some occurrences are several kilometers in one or more dimension, even some for rare species such as at least in the 1970s-early 1980s for ERYNNIS PERSIUS PERSIUS in the pine barrens around Concord, new Hampshire and Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 1 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: In most cases with taxa likely to be actually tracked and mapped occurrences will be in habitats or remnants of habitats of only dozens to perhaps 100 hectares or occupying discrete patches within larger communities or landscape features and the inferred extent is all available habitat even if this exceeds 1 kilometer. However in cases where the habitat appears extensive or is unclear and information on the occurrence is limited, assume only all suitable habitat within I kilometer radius. Note however if the foodplant is spotty or highly localized never infer an extent greater than that occupied by this plant. In general these skipper will largely occupy suitable habitat where they are present at all, but often one will not really know what suitable habitat really is locally. In extreme cases such as ERYNNIS JUVENALIS and E. HORATIUS, occurrences in the core of their ranges may well be hundreds of thousands of hectares in heavily oak forested regions, such as obviously so for the former in southern New Jersey.
Date: 18Sep2001
Author: Schweitzer, Dale F.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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Excellent Viability: Large estimated population (e.g., 75-100+ adults observed) in a large, relatively undisturbed habitat (e.g., 1500+ acres) with ecological processes intact, and evidence of long-term persistence and reproduction. Also for an A or B rank threats must be low, in particular the foodplant not subject to frequent severe herbivory by out of control deer.

Good Viability: Moderate estimated population (e.g., 25-75 adults observed) in moderate sized habitat (e.g., 500-1500 acres), with ecological processes intact, and evidence of long-term persistence or reproduction. Also, large estimated populations with ecological processes degraded but restorable with some effort. Also for an A or B rank threats must be low, in particular the foodplant not subject to frequent severe herbivory by out of control deer.
Fair Viability: Smaller populations or populations on less than 500 acres of habitat that nevertheless have reasonable prospects for persistence. Generally one would expect to see some adults on each visit and the minimum polygon enclosing all of the associated Ceanothus patches should enclose at least 20 acres, or if not then there should be a cluster of such patches scattered over a substantial area.
Poor Viability: An occurrence that is unlikely to persist due to very low numbers or more likely very small or degraded habitat.
Justification: The A SPECS seem to capture the all time best occurrences. Habitats meeting the B SPECs were able to maintain large populations into the late 20th century eastward. However one Pennsylvania serpentine barren site that would have been a borderline BC occurrence in the 1980s was very rapidly extirpated by a brief episode of out of control herbivory. Another population about a mile or two away would have ranked C and was also lost. These two were quite isolated and probably were xerothermic relicts. There is no reasonable doubt both would still be extant were it not for the deer incident. Similarly a much larger metapopulation around Albany New York actually is persisting despite high deer numbers. While this one could not reasonably be assigned and A or B rank now given currently degradation and threats, A very possibly would have applied around 1975 and a case can be made from it that about 1000-2000 acres of good habitat can maintain a population for at least a few decades even with threats. It is thought most New England occurrences were well under 1000 acres and most failed to survive the 1800s and none apparently persisted to 1950. There were a number of mostly small occurrences in eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey into about the 1950s. All have died out and massive gypsy moth spraying might have been an over riding factor such as to make any EO-RANK SPEC moot for those in New Jersey sine the best occurrences could easily be wiped out by one application of DDT or Carbaryl. There is little information as to what should separate a C from a D in the absence of serious threats from deer or gypsy moth spraying, but this species is not normally found on small isolated patches of habitats.
Key for Ranking Species Element Occurrences Using the Generic Approach (2008).
Date: 15Feb2007
Author: D.F. Schweitzer, Opler. P. A., Simonson, S.E.
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 02Sep2011
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: D.F. Schweitzer
Management Information Edition Date: 12Mar2007
Management Information Edition Author: Schweitzer, D.F.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 06Sep2011
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): SCHWEITZER, D.F. AND P.A. OPLER

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

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