Afranius Duskywing (Erynnis afranius) (Lintner, 1878)

Diagnosis: This species is very nearly indistinguishable from the Columbine Duskywing (E. lucilius). The most reliable differences are in the dusting of white scales on the upperside of the forewing, and the pale colour of the hindwing fringes. Wingspan: 25 to 31 mm.

Range: This small duskywing ranges from northern Mexico through the central part of the U.S. and into Canada in southwestern Manitoba and southern Saskatchewan and Alberta. There are disjunct records from northern British Columbia and central Yukon.

Specimen collection data

Similar Species: The Columbine Duskywing (E. lucilius) and the Persius Duskywing (E. persius). [compare images]

Early Stages: Larvae are pale green with a dark dorsal line and yellow dorsolateral lines. The collar and head are black, the face orange with a black patch in the centre (Scott, 1986). The foodplants are herb and shrub Fabaceae, in Canada recorded on lupines (Lupinus spp.) and Buffalo Bean (Astragalus crassicarpus).

Abundance: It can be fairly common in dry grassy areas.

Flight Season: There are two generations, in late May and June, and from mid-July to late August.

Habits: Erynnis afranius has been reported in open forest and at forest edges (Tilden and Smith, 1986; Scott, 1986). However, in the Prairie Provinces it is found only in dry grassland.

© 2002. This material is reproduced with permission from The Butterflies of Canada by Ross A. Layberry, Peter W. Hall, and J. Donald Lafontaine. University of Toronto Press; 1998. Specimen photos courtesy of John T. Fowler.