E. funeralis life history
Funereal Duskywing (Erynnis funeralis) Life History

Egg found 3-27-10

Egg turns yellow, 3-28-10

Recently-emerged caterpillar, 4-1-10

4-3-10, caterpillar still yellow

4-4-10, new instar has black head


4-14-10, "intermediate" face

4-15-10, face of later instars

4-17-10, a different view


4-20-10, first caterpillar is almost ready to pupate

4-28-10, chrysalis of second caterpillar

5-1-10, eyes appear red in chrysalis

5-3-10, pre-emergent chrysalis

5-2-10, ventral of first adult

5-3-10, dorsal of second adult

Barbados Cherry (Malphigia glabra) is host for numerous butterfly species. I try to inspect my plants regularly for eggs. I found three in March of 2010. The day after I found them, they turned yellow, so perhaps the eggs were fresh when found.

The caterpillars emerged on April 1 (no fooling). One died on the second or third day; the others were raised to maturity. The early instars hid inside rolled leaves, as is typical of skippers. The later instars built loose shelters of leaves or attached leaves to the side of the holding container. The full-grown caterpillars were a little over 3 cm in length.

The body color of the caterpillars gradually changed from yellow to green as the larvae matured. Gradual changes were not the case with the head, as the dates on the pictures indicate. In one instar (perhaps the third) it changed from yellow to black; in a later instar it gained the bright markings duskywing larvae are known for.

An interesting phenomena also occurred in the chrysalis. At one point during the changes preceding the emergence of the adult butterfly,  the eyes appeared to be red (see 5-1 picture), making me wonder if I had an albino butterfly. However, it was an illusion - the adult was normal - and I have since seen the same effect in other skipper species.

The Funereal Duskywings took 34-35 days to progress from the egg to the adult.

Funereal Duskywing Page