Location: Morgantown, WV
April 30, 2013 6:17 pm
I found this pretty thing in the road, probably stunned by a car strike. So I picked it up and set it in the sunshine after a taking a couple of pictures. I’ve seen this kind of butterfly before but haven’t been able to successfully identify it. I am thinking it might be a kind of skipper, but I’m only guessing. I would love to know what this is. They are pretty early here in WV, though I have seen quite a few cabbage whites and tiger swallowtails this week. Thank you again for your fantastic website!
Signature: Bugwatcher Guitry
Dear Bugwatcher Guitry,
You are correct that this is a Skipper. It looks to us like one of the Duskywings in the genus Erynnis, however, it doesn’t seem to perfectly match any of the species pictured on BugGuide. BugGuide does note: “The genus Erynnis (Duskywings) is probably the most difficult group of North American butterflies to identify in the field. However, the identity of a particular individual can often be narrowed to a few possibilities by noting the habitat and examining the range maps for each species (see INTERNET REFERENCES section below). A further critical comparison of an individual’s key field marks to those in reliably identified images is often enough to arrive at a certain or near-certain ID; examination of the genitalia may be required in some cases but is usually not necessary when the preceding steps have been taken with due care.” The closest match, in our opinion, is Horace’s Duskywing (see photo on BugGuide), which is a wide ranging species reported in West Virginia. According to BugGuide its habitat is: “Open woodlands and edges, clearings, fencerows, wooded swamps, power-line right-of-ways, open fields, roadsides.”