Little Wood Satyr - Megisto cymela
[From Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001] Forewing 1.7-2.3 cm. Forewing brown with two prominent yellow-rimmed eyespots above and below; hindwing brown with two prominent yellow-rimmed eyespots above and below.
One flight; June to early July in the north, late March to May in the south (Scott 1986). May to August (Glassberg 2001)
Determined by the two large yellow-rimmed eyespots on each wing.
Southeastern Saskatchewan south through the Dakotas, Nebraska, southeastern Wyoming, northeastern Colorado and central Texas, east across southern Canada and most of eastern US to Atlantic Coast (Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001). Not reported in Montana prior to 2000 (Kohler 1980; Stanford and Opler 1993), but recorded since then from Carbon, Carter, and Fallon counties (FLMN Lepidopterists' Society database). Rare to uncommon at the western edge of range north of Oklahoma (Glassberg 2001).
Grassy areas, grazed prairie, shrubby fields, grassland-woodland ecotones, riparian woodlands (Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Debinski and Babbit 1997; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001).
Limited information. Larval food plants include the grasses Dactylis, Eremochloa, and Xyris; many others eaten by captive larvae (Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986). Adults infrequently sip flower nectar (including Ptelea, Pycnanthemum, Rhus, and Smilax), and feed on sap and aphid honeydew (Williams 1983; Scott 1986; Tooker et al. 2002).
Limited information. Females lay eggs singly on dead or live grass, the bases of tree trunks, and soil. Larvae feed at night, build no nests; L3-L4 instars hibernate (overwinter). Pupae suspended from grass stems or in litter (Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986). Males patrol throughout the day mostly in shaded areas in search of females (Scott 1986).
- Literature Cited AboveLegend: View Online Publication
- Debinski, D.M. and A.M. Babbit. 1997. Butterfly species in native prairie and restored prairie. Prairie Naturalist 29:219-227.
- Ferris, C.D. and F.M. Brown (eds). 1981. Butterflies of the Rocky Mountains. Univ. of Oklahoma Press. Norman. 442 pp.
- Glassberg, J. 2001. Butterflies through Binoculars: A Field Guide to the Butterflies of Western North America. Oxford University Press.
- Kohler, S. 1980. Checklist of Montana Butterflies (Rhopalocera). Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society 34(1): 1-19.
- Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright. 1999. A field guide to western butterflies. Second edition. Peterson Field Guides. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. 540 pp.
- Scott, J.A. 1986. The butterflies of North America: a natural history and field guide. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California.
- Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of western USA butterflies: including adjacent parts of Canada and Mexico. Unpubl. Report. Denver and Fort Collins, Colorado 275 pp.
- Tooker, J.F., P.F. Reagel, and L.M. Hanks. 2002. Nectar sources of day-flying lepidoptera of central Illinois. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 95(1): 84-96.
- Williams, T.S. 1983. Occurrence of Megisto cymela (Satyridae) at flowers, with a behavioral note. Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society 37:176-177.
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
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- Layberry, R.A., P.W. Hall, and J.D. LaFontaine. 1998. The Butterflies of Canada. University of Toronto Press. 280 pp. + color plates.
- Additional Sources of Information Related to "Insects"