Dukes' Skipper (Euphyes dukesi) (Lindsey, 1923)

Diagnosis: The upperside is sooty black in life, fading to very dark brown after death. In the male, the upperside is unmarked except for the black stigma; the female has several pale-yellowish spots on the forewing and a larger blurred orange area on the hindwing. The hindwing underside is pale brown with a long yellowish streak. Wingspan: 31 to 37 mm.

Range: The Dukes' Skipper flies in three widely separated areas of the eastern U.S., and in Canada only in extreme southwestern Ontario, north to Walpole Island.

Similar Species: Other Euphyes; the single yellowish streak on the hindwing beneath is unmistakable.

Early Stages: These are undescribed. Foodplants are sedges, including Carex lacustris, a wetland sedge, and C. hyalinolepis, found in more open habitats such as ditches.

Abundance: This species is uncommon and very local throughout its entire range.

Flight Season: In southern Ontario dukesi flies from early July to mid-August, with a second generation recorded once at Point Pelee in early September.

Habits: The species is restricted in habitat to marshy areas with long grasses and patches of the foodplants, usually in partially shaded woodlands or adjacent to woods. It is never found in open marshes like most other sedge skippers. It has been seen twice in Essex County in dry ditches containing C. hyalinolepis. It was first recorded in Canada by Anthony Holmes on 11 July 1968.

Remarks: Alan Wormington gives a detailed account of the Dukes' Skipper in Ontario in "The Butterflies of Point Pelee National Park" (Wormington, 1983).

© 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.