Erynnis persius persius
Persius dusky wing

Key Characteristics

Upper surfaces are brown and marked similarly to other duskywings except that the subapical white spots align basally in a straight line. Short grayish-white hairs on the forewing of the male. The caterpillar is pale green sprinkled with white, raised dots with short, white hairs and has yellowish and dark green lateral lines. The head is reddish brown to yellow-green with vertical lighter streaks.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: T
  • State Rank: S3
  • Global Rank: G5T1T3


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
St. Joseph11987
Distribution map for Erynnis persius persius

Updated 5/15/2018. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


Oak-pine barrens and adjacent prairies and brushy fields and along trails and utility rights-of-way through barrens. The eggs are laid on wild blue lupine (Lupinus perennis). Adults have been observed nectaring on blueberry, wild crab, lupine, downy phlox, wild plum, and birdfoot violet.

Specific Habitat Needs

Host plant needed in Southern shrub-carr, Oak openings, Oak-pine barrens, Hillside prairie, Dry sand prairie

Natural Community Types


For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.


Surveys are needed to determine this species' status and distribution. Research to obtain more information on this species' life history and ecology and efforts to assess threats to this species also are warranted. The sites at which this species has been documented should be protected and maintained. Adequate suitable habitat at these sites need to be maintained including sufficient densities of the species' host plant, lupine. Maintenance and long-term preservation of the habitats with which this species is associated depends on the promotion of fire (or an equivalent anthropogenic disturbance) as the prime ecological process driving the persistence and establishment of these natural communities. Prescribed burning can be used as a management tool to try to re-establish or replicate natural fire regimes in barrens and prairie systems. Fire management would help to reverse vegetative succession in these habitats and open up closed forests and prairies that are characterized by dense thatch cover, reduced nectar sources and poor lupine populations. In areas where this species or other rare invertebrates occur or are of management concern, burning strategies should allow for ample refugia (e.g., only burning part of the available habitat at a time, burn frequency and intensity, type of fire, etc.) to minimize incidental take or other potential adverse impacts and facilitate effective post-burn survival and/or recolonization.

Active Period

Flight from first week of May to second week of June

Survey Methods

The best way to survey for this species is by conducting visual meander surveys which consists of checking for this species near larval food plants, on adult nectar sources, and in mud puddles. This species is difficult to identify in the wild. It is strongly recommended that observations of this species be verified through actual specimen vouchers or verification by a species expert.

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at [Accessed Aug 16, 2018]

More Information

See MNFI Species Abstract


Survey References

Technical References

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