The Horace’s Duskywing butterfly is a medium-sized brown skipper that usually perches with its wings spread. At first glance, this quick-flying, darting butterfly appears to be a moth but it is a member of the skipper family of butterflies. Both males and females have white spots on the forewing, including a white spot in the forewing cell (the oval space between veins that is toward the leading edge of the forewing, near the body); white spots are larger on females. The overall color is brown without a hint of gray. Males have a bold white line over the eye.


Horace’s Duskywing” by Kenneth Cole Schneider, licensed under (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


Horace’s Duskywing Facts

Butterfly Family: Skipper (Hesperiidae)

Butterfly Subfamily: Pyrginae

Butterfly Wingspan: 1 7/16 – 1 15/16 inches

Butterfly Habitat: Open woodlands and edges, clearings, fencerows, wooded swamps, power-line right-of-ways, open fields, and roadsides


Horace’s Duskywing Host and Nectar Plants

Host Plants:

  • Red Oak
  • White Oak
  • Willow Oak
  • Northern Red Oak
  • Southern Red Oak
  • Scrub Oak
  • Willow Oak
  • Post Oak
  • Water Oak
  • Blackjack Oak

Nectar Plants:

  • Nectar from various flowers
    • Dogbane
    • Buttonbush
    • Sneezeweed
    • Goldenrod
    • Peppermint
    • Boneset
    • Winter Cress
    • Zinnia
    • Blazing Star
    • Purple Coneflower
    • Tennessee Coneflower
    • Fleabane
    • Mistflower
    • Dandelion
    • Prickly Mallow
    • White Clover
    • Red Clover
    • Mountain Mint