Mexico, USA & Canada
Family - HESPERIIDAE
subfamily - PYRGINAE
Erynnis funeralis, Arizona, USA ©
subfamily Pyrginae are characterised by their habit of basking with
wings outspread, compared to the half-open position favoured by the
Erynnis has representatives throughout
the temperate and sub-tropical regions of the northern hemisphere.
There are 18 species in North America.
The dull brown
appearance of funeralis epitomises the
genus Erynnis, although some species,
baptisiae and the European Dingy Skipper
tages, have subtle but beautiful
patterns of pale dots and wavy lines.
One of the most
distinctive characteristics of Erynnis
species is their habit of roosting overnight or in overcast weather
at the top of herbaceous plants, with their wings wrapped very
tightly around dead flowerheads. By adopting this posture the
camouflage pattern becomes incredibly effective, enabling the
insects to escape the notice of birds and small mammals, thus
avoiding predation for long periods. In England e.g. I observed a
specimen of tages which remained
continually at roost on a dead knapweed flowerhead for 14 days
during an extended period of bad weather in 2006.
Erynnis funeralis is
widespread and common species in the Americas, being distributed
from California to Argentina.
inhabits dry grassy habitats at elevations between sea-level and
The egg is yellow
and is laid singly on the upperside of a leaf. The larval foodplant
in the USA and Mexico is Robinia (
Fabaceae ). The fully grown larva is translucent green with thin
pale lateral and dorsal lines. It has a squarish, charcoal coloured
head with a pair of pale brown stubby knobs. The pupa is
pinkish-white and is formed in a flimsy cocoon among leaf litter.
Both sexes take
nectar from a wide variety of herbaceous flowers. They bask with
their wings fully outspread on cool or overcast days, but hold the
wings erect when temperatures are higher.