Sleepy Duskywing, Erynnis brizo

Sleepy Duskywing

Erynnis brizo

A black or dark brown skipper without white spots near the leading edge of the forewing, a postmedian band of lighter coloring surrounded by black markings that form an irregular chain-link pattern. This same pattern occurs as another band, not so distinct, closer towards the body. The hindwing above has two rows of light dots that are also present below.

Forest edges, open woodlands, and oak barrens where its larval host plants, various species of oaks, are found.

Overwintering Strategy:   Mid-stage Caterpillars

One brood. Flies mainly in May and June, but may occasionally be seen in April and early July.

Caterpillar Host Plants:
Scrub Oak

The Sleepy Duskywing is one of the earliest butterflies on the wing in the spring — besides species who overwinter as adults — and has been seen as early as April 9 in Michigan. In central Wisconsin, they are most often seen flying in May and become scarce in June.

Overwintering Strategy

Two-way migration: Adult migrates from Wisconsin to Central Mexico
Small migration: Adult migrates from Wisconsin to southern US
Immigrant: Adult migrates into Wisconsin from warmer areas and don't fly south in winter
Adult Butterfly: Hibernates overwinter as an adult butterfly
Eggs: Eggs laid on stems, twigs or foot plants overwinter in diapause
Caterpillar: Caterpillars make nests on the base of plants and hibernate until spring
Chrysalis: Caterpillars shed their last skin, form a chrysalis and enter diapause.

For more information, read: Where Do Butterflies Go In Winter?

Further Information:   

 Design A Butterfly Garden
 Take The Butterfly Quiz
 Monarch Life Cycle
 Butterflies and Moths of North America
 Southern Wisconsin Butterfly Assn (NABA)
 The Butterfly Site

Bees flying footer graphic