wild indigo duskywing
Identification: Wingspan 1 1/4 - 1 3/4 inches. Quite variable. Males usually have black antennal knobs. Upperside is orange with black borders; postmedian and submarginal areas are crossed by fine black marks. Underside of hindwing has a dark marginal patch containing a light-colored crescent. Spring and fall broods (form marcia) have a gray mottled hindwing below.
Habitat: Open areas such as pastures, road edges, vacant lots, fields, open pine woods.
Garden Habit: Males patrol open areas for females. Eggs are laid in small batches on underside of host plant leaves. Caterpillars eat leaves and are gregarious when young. Hibernation is by third-stage caterpillars.
Host Plants: Several species of smooth-leaved true asters.