Duskywing mess in NC ("Erynnis messius")

Each spring, we observe duskywings that don't fit the mold. Very early in the year we see individuals that resemble female Horace's, which should be appearing 2 months later, and we don't usually see typical male Horace's types. Additionally, late in the spring we see what appears to be fresh male Juvenal's types, when most Juvenal's are quite worn. On top of that, we see individuals that look like Juvenal's from above, but lack the diagnostic pair of subapical underhindwing white spots. Swell.

This individual looks like a fairly fresh, typical Juvenal's from above. However, it lacks the distinct subapical underhindwing spots, and its flight date is late. A handful of typical Juvenal's were seen the same day and location as this butterfly, and they were all very worn. Graham Co., NC 4/28/2006

Orange Co., NC 3/17/2006 Moore Co., NC 4/10/2004
These two individuals are much more boldly patterned than a normal female Juvenal's. And they're out too early in the year for a Horace's. Most references state that Horace's may have a rare or small early spring brood, but if that's the case and these are Horace's, where are the males?

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Created ... May 10, 2006 | jeffpippen9@gmail.com