Butterflies of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance

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Once on a species account page, clicking on the "View PDF" link will show the flight data for that species, for each of the three regions of the state.
Other information, such as high counts and earliest/latest dates, can also been seen on the PDF page.

Related Species in HESPERIIDAE:
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Common NameZarucco Duskywing by Scott Hartley => female, Weymouth Woods-SNP, 2005-08-02
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[Google Images]     BoA [Images ]
Scientific NameErynnis zarucco
Link to BAMONA species account.
MapClick on a county for list of all database records for the species in that county.
DistributionDISTRIBUTION: Scattered over the state, but very rare in the northern mountains (where it might not be a resident species) and some northern boundary counties east of the mountains. Still no records for the extreme northern Coastal Plain, other than in Currituck County (one record in 2020). Primarily found in the southern half of the state, but with many records in the northeastern Piedmont (where field work is greater than anywhere else).
AbundanceABUNDANCE: Fairly common in the Sandhills and in the southern tidewater areas. Uncommon over most of the Coastal Plain; rare to uncommon in the eastern and southern Piedmont; and rare in the southern half of the mountains. Very rare in the northwestern Piedmont, and presumed very rare (if not locally absent) in the northern Coastal Plain. Likely absent in nearly all of the northern mountains. In 2016, Jeff Pippen and I had a remarkable one-day count of 65 individuals in Scotland County; this more than doubled the previous state one-day count.
FlightFLIGHT PERIOD: Probably three broods, but might be migratory in some areas (such as the mountains and western Piedmont). Broods in the Coastal Plain are a small one in April into May; early June to mid-July; and a primary one from mid-July to early October, sparingly into early November. The Piedmont data also seem to indicate two very small broods prior to the largest one in late July and August. Likely just two broods in the mountains (if it breeds there at all); records fall between mid-May and mid-September.
HabitatHABITAT: This species is characteristic of hot, sandy places. Habitats are usually Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris)/scrub oak woodlands and openings, such as dirt roads through sandhills, dry powerline clearings, sunny scrub habitats, and so forth. The "tidewater" range presumably relates mainly to records in coastal fringe sandhills, margins of dry woods, dunes, and other sandy places near the coast.
See also Habitat Account for General Dry-Xeric Glades and Barrens
PlantsFOOD AND NECTAR PLANTS: Foodplants are legumes (Fabaceae), mostly herbaceous species. Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) is a foodplant in some parts of the East but is rare in the Coastal Plain; perhaps Dwarf Locust (R. nana) is used in NC. The species nectars on a wide variety of flowers, but it is commonly seen taking moisture and minerals on dirt roads.
CommentsCOMMENTS: In my mind, this butterfly conjures up scorching hot weather and blazing hot sands. Zaruccos often perch on white sands in open Longleaf Pine habitats and on the sandy dirt roads and jeep trails in these habitats. Males are quite territorial, flying back and forth along sandy roads and perching on the tips of grass stems and other vegetation 1-3 feet off the ground. Most references indicate that the Zarucco is most likely to be confused with the Wild Indigo Duskywing; this is indeed true for females, which are very similar. However, male Zaruccos are often confused in NC with the male Horace's Duskywing, though male Horace's are not as strongly territorial as Zaruccos are. Some Zaruccos seen in NC might be migrants from farther south, but this is mostly a speculation because the spring brood is very small.
State RankS4
State Status
Global RankG5
Federal Status
Other Name

Links to other butterfly galleries: [Cook] [Lynch] [Pippen] [Pugh]
Photo Gallery for Zarucco Duskywing
Photo by: Roger Rittmaster
Comment: Male
Zarucco Duskywing - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Randy Newman
Comment: Fort Macon State Park, Carteret Co.; 2007-Aug-14; female
Zarucco Duskywing - Click to enlarge
Photo by: S. Halling
Comment: Pilot Mountain State Park, Surry Co.; Summit parking lot meadow. 2014-Aug-28; fresh female
Zarucco Duskywing - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Jeff Pippen
Comment: Brunswick Co.; 28 Aug 2004; Male
Zarucco Duskywing - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Doug Allen
Comment: Male (slightly worn)
Zarucco Duskywing - Click to enlarge