Black Dash (Euphyes conspicua) (W.H. Edwards, 1863)

Diagnosis: Both sexes are dark brown above. Males have the black stigma surrounded by a very large orange patch that occupies about half the area of the forewing, and a central blurred dark-veined orange patch on the hindwing. Females have a few white or pale cream spots on the forewing and a faint crescent of cream spots on the hindwing. In both sexes the hindwing underside is orange brown with a poorly developed crescent of paler spots. Wingspan: 26 to 32 mm.

Subspecies: Two, but only the nominate subspecies is found in Canada.

Range: The Black Dash is found in two areas of the northern U.S., including a large area south of the Great Lakes. It ranges into southern Ontario as far northeast as St. Agatha, Waterloo County.

Specimen collection data

Similar Species: Other Euphyes; the crescent of pale spots on a light brown background on the hindwing underside identifies this species.

Early Stages: The larvae are undescribed; the foodplant is reported to be Carex stricta.

Abundance: In southern Ontario this is an uncommon and very local species.

Flight Season: There is one generation per year, flying from late June to mid-August in Canada.

Habits: Euphyes conspicua is reported to be restricted to wet sedge meadows in Ontario. In New York State it is found in marshes around acid bogs, and is associated with the Mulberry Wing (Poanes massasoit) (Shapiro, 1974).

© 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.