Icehouse Canyon, Los Angeles County, CA. 06/13/05. © Peter J. Bryant.

Propertius Duskywing

Erynnis propertius

Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae

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San Juan Loop Trail, near the Candy Store at 34040 Ortega Highway, Riverside County, CA. 4/13/09. © Peter J. Bryant.

Female. Holy Jim Canyon, Trabuco Canyon, Cleveland National Forest, Orange County, CA. © Robert Gorman.

Silverado Canyon, Orange County, CA. 6/12/13. © Ron Hemberger

Characteristics: Fringe on DHW brown like Erynnis afranius, but unlike either tristis or funeralis which have white fringes. A mixture of black and white scales on the DFW give fresh specimens a gray or "grizzled" appearance. Forewing length: 18-19 mm.

Similar Species: This species can usually be distinguished from E. afranius by the presence of two pale DFW subapical spots and by its larger forewing length.

Habitats, Behavior: In the Santa Ana Mountains, propertius is often attracted to moisture and to roadside thistles. It also appears to hilltop, particularly on Modjeska Peak.

Distribution: At present, propertius occurs in Orange County on the basis of spotty records from the west slopes of the Santa Ana Mountains, especially from the moist canyons.

Flight Period: One brood, adults flying from March to June (Emmel and Emmel, 1973). Theodore Hower's capture from Trabuco Canyon is an extremely early record and Jack Levy's is an unusually late record.

Larval Foodplant: Propertius Duskywing larvae have been reared on Coast Live Oak leaves (Quercus agrifolia). This oak probably serves as the foodplant in Orange County. Other oaks have also been accepted by larvae in the laboratory.

Other Remarks: This fast-flying species may be fairly common at higher elevations of the Santa Ana Mountains during June; at lower elevations it is probably more common during late April; it may eventually be found in the coastal foothills as well. 

From Orsak, L. J. (1977). The Butterflies of Orange County, California. Center for Pathobiology Miscellaneous Publication #3. University of California Press, New York. 349pp.

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