New Jersey Butterflies

Little Wood-Satyr

Megisto cymela

Identification: Small—1.6" (a little smaller than Cabbage White). Above: FW and HW dark brown, FW with 2 medium-sized, black eyespots surrounded by pale yellow, HW with one to three similar eyespots of varying size. Below: FW and HW lighter brown, each wing with 2 large, black, eyespots surrounded by pale yellow. In addition the HW may have two or more smaller eyespots and small areas of metallic silver in the spotband. Two narrow, dark lines cross each wing.

NJ Status and Distribution: Resident. Common and widespread, especially the first brood.

NJ Range Map-Little Wood-Satyr

Habitat: Forest edges and openings as well as grassy fields near woods. Rarely nectars, so not a common garden visitor.

Flight Period: Mid-May through August with a pronounced peak from mid-May to mid-June, and a lesser one late June to mid-July. The narrow gap between these two peaks suggests that the second peak may represent a delayed emergence or possibly even a separate species. Extreme dates: North Jersey 5/11-10/7; South Jersey 5/6-8/31.

Larval Food Plants: Grasses, including Orchard Grass (Dactylis glomerata) and Kentucky Bluegrass (Poa pratensis).

Overwintering Stage: Larva.

Best Locations: Grassy fields just about anywhere.

Comments: This species, like other satyrs, has a relatively weak but bouncy flight within, or just over the top of, dense herbaceous vegetation.

Little Wood-Satyr

Lord Stirling Pk., Somerset Co., NJ, 6/15/06.

Little Wood-Satyr

Crater Lake Rd., Sussex Co., NJ, 5/23/08.