Wisconsin Native Caterpillars
Dreamy Duskywing Caterpillar
Genus-Species: Erynnis icelus
Description: The green caterpillar has a yellow lateral
stripe. The body is covered with small white tubercles and short hairs. The brown head is strongly
angled and has bright orange dots along its margins.
Chrysalis: The chrysalis is brown or dark green.
Host Plants: Willows, Poplars
Habitat: Dreamy Duskywings host plants are mainly
willows and poplar in Wisconsin, and as such are often found in moister habitats than the
Sleepy Duskywing. But they can be found, especially when they are nectaring, in many of the
same drier habitats where Sleepy Duskywings are found. In several other states, they may also
use oaks as a host plants, so more study is needed to see if they may use oak species in
Comments: Nine species of Duskywings have been
found in Wisconsin. From a distance of 20 yards, without binoculars, they are all essentially
indistinguishable little black skippers. On closer inspection, the Dreamy and Sleepy can easily
be distinguished from the others by a lack of white spots in the forewing. Technically this is
incorrect, as the Dreamy Duskywing sometimes has a single white spot, which is lacking in the
Sleepy Duskywing, although this doesn’t mean that these species are then easily distinguishable
from each other.
Caterpillars come in many colors, shapes, and sizes. Some caterpillars are quite hairy,
while others are smooth. Despite differences between species, though, all caterpillars
share certain morphological features.
Take this quick quiz and see how much you know about caterpillars. This quiz is intended for fun, in
a random-facts-can-be-cool kind of way.
How does this magic happen? Learn about metamorphosis - the process of transformation from an
immature form to an adult bitterfly.