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Montana Field Guides

Riding's Satyr - Neominois ridingsii


Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5

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General Description
[From Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001; Pyle 2002] Forewing 1.9-2.6 cm. Uppersurface sandy brown-gray, all wings crossed by postmedian band of oblong creamy-white ovals, two pupiled black spots contained in forewing band, sometimes a small eyespot in hindwing band; undersurface similar but less distinct, with light and dark irregular bands.

Phenology
One flight; June to early July at low elevation, mid-July to early August at high elevation (Scott 1986); June to September (Glassberg 2001). Late June to early or mid-August in Oregon (Pyle 2002; Warren 2005).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Distinctive; best determined by color and uppersurface of all wings crossed by postmedian band of oblong creamy-white ovals, two pupiled black spots contained in forewing band, sometimes a small eyespot in hindwing band.

Species Range
Montana Range

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Range Comments
Southern Alberta, Saskatchewan, and southwestern Manitoba south through Colorado and western Nebraska to central Arizona and central New Mexico, west to southern Oregon, eastern California, and Nevada; isolated population in North Dakota (Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001; Pyle 2002); to at least 3050 m elevation in the Rocky Mountain states, rarely to 3962 m (Scott and Scott 1978; Ferris and Brown 1981), to at least 2500 m elevation in southern Oregon (Warren 2005). In Montana, reported from most counties east of the continental divide (Kohler 1980; Stanford and Opler 1993; FLMNH Lepidopterists' Society database). Locally rare to locally common (Glassberg 2001).

Migration
Non-migratory. Average adult lifetime movement < 120 m (Scott 1986).

Habitat
Shortgrass prairie, sagebrush steppe, open grassy woodland, dry grassy meadows (Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001; Pyle 2002). Habitat not described for Montana but likely similar.

Food Habits
Larval food plants include the grasses Agropyron, Bouteloua (the usual host), Koeleria, and Stipa (Scott 1986, 1992, 2006). Adults feed infrequently on flower nectar, including Achillea, Astragalus, Chrysothamnus, Cryptantha, Eriogonum, Helianthus, Heterotheca, Hymenopappus, Hymenoxys, Melilotus, Penstemon, Sedum, and Senecio (Scott 2014).

Reproductive Characteristics
Females lay eggs singly on host grasses or nearby on shrubs or forbs, either green or dead. Larvae build no nest. Hibernation (overwintering) occurs as L3 or L4 instars, rarely as L2; where biennial in California, probably overwinter as young larvae the first winter, as old larvae the second (Scott 1979, 1986, 1992, 2006); pupae suspended from grass or formed in leaf litter at base of grass bunch (Ferris and Brown 1981). Males perch on the ground (seldom patrol) until mid-day on small grassy hilltops, mesas, and saddles to await passage of females, which they then pursue. Average lifespan 11 days in cooler years, 5 days in hotter years (Scott 1975b, 1986; Warren 2005).

References
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Citation for data on this website:
Riding's Satyr — Neominois ridingsii.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from