New Jersey Butterflies

Hoary Edge

Achalarus lyciades

Identification: Small—1.65" (a little smaller than Silver-spotted Skipper). Above: FW and HW dark brown, with partial band of rectangular, translucent, golden spots across mid-FW. Unlike Silver-spotted Skipper the golden spots usually surround a small triangle of brown. Below: FW and HW mottled dark brown with a rather diffuse white patch on trailing edge of HW. (In contrast, Silver-Spotted has a solid, brilliant white patch across middle of HW.) Translucent golden band on FW is usually visible.

NJ Status and Distribution: Resident. Uncommon and local throughout.

NJ Range Map-Hoary Edge

Habitat: Dry to moist fields and wood edges. Seldom seen in gardens.

Flight Period: One brood, flying from late May to late July with a peak from mid-June to early July. Extreme dates: North Jersey 5/22—7/21; South Jersey 6/28—8/3 (2 records).

Larval Food Plants: Legumes such as tick-trefoils (Desmodium) and bush-clovers (Lespedeza).

Overwintering Stage: Pupa.

Best Locations: Mountainside Park, Kittatinny Valley SP, Ringwood SP (Skylands), Wildcat Ridge WMA.

Comments: Much less common than Silver-spotted Skipper and the cloudywings. On a good day an active observer may see up to 5, but on most days none are seen.



Hoary Edge

Mills Res., Essex Co., NJ, 6/23/05.


Hoary Edge

Mountainside Pk., Morris Co., NJ, 6/3/11.


Hoary Edge eggs

Eggs on Showy Tick Trefoil (Desmodium canadense)


Panicled Tick Trefoil

Panicled Tick Trefoil (Desmodium paniculatum). This is one of several species of legumes used as host plants by Silver-spotted Skipper and Hoary Edge.