New Jersey Butterflies

Black Dash

Euphyes conspicua

Identification: Very small—≥FW 0.6". Sexes similar below. Above: Male FW with prominent black stigma ("black dash") in orange field with wide, very dark trailing borders; HW also with dark borders, and central pale or orange patch that mirrors ventral pattern. Female mainly dark above, with pale "bracelet" and several pale spots across FW; HW may have pale splotch mirroring ventral pattern. Below: Both sexes have bright rusty-brown HW with large, rather vague, yellowish patch that widens in the center. Similar skippers: Often flies with Mulberry Wing, which is all dark above, and below has HW patch below sharply defined in the shape of an airplane. Northern Broken-Dash is brown below, lacking the rusty color, and HW patch is in the shape of a "3." Dion Skipper has 2 pale streaks across the HW below.

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

NJ Range Map-Black Dash

Habitat: Sedgy marshes, fens, and wet meadows. May be attracted to flowers in nearby gardens.

Flight Period: One brood, mid-June to mid-August, peaking in July. Extreme dates: North Jersey 6/2—8/24; South Jersey 6/27/2009, 7/19/2009—only records in the last 8 years.

Larval Food Plants: Tussock Sedge (Carex stricta) in NJ; elsewhere may use other species of Carex.

Overwintering Stage: Early-instar larvae.

Best Locations: Great Swamp NWR, Troy Meadows, Whittingham WMA, Pigeon Swamp SP, Appalachian Trail Lands, reported from Manumuskin River Preserve in the past.


Black Dash

Male, Sussex Mills, Sussex Co., NJ, 6/23/04.

Black Dash

Female, Whittingham WMA, Sussex Co., NJ, 7/16/04.

Black Dash

Kittatinny Valley SP, Sussex Co., NJ, 7/7/11, on Common Milkweed.