Little Wood-satyr (Megisto cymela cymela)

Dear Gardening Friends,

Although it may seem as though I have been  unplugged as of late, I am actually becoming more plugged-in than ever (is this a good thing?) as I am in the process of teaching myself how to edit  and combine my video clips and photos. To be sure, editing videos is easy for my techno savvy friends, but I find it time consuming beyond measure. The net result is that I will be able to passalong more good information. For example, the video below shows the ventral (underside) and dorsal (topside) of the Little Wood-satyr, as well as its light brown and tan forms. Hopefully, this will help us to better identify, and provide sustenance for, the beautiful pollinators that are attracted to our habitat gardens.

The fearless Little Wood-Satyr seen in the video stayed for several days. While photographing, he alighted on my camera and then onto my hand. As you can see, there wasn’t much remaining of his left wing.

Little Wood-satrys are found throughout the eastern United States (except northern New England) and southeastern Canada, Nova Scotia to Florida, west to Texas and eastern Wyoming, and north to Saskatchewan. The first of its kind to arrive in our garden, we more typically observe the Little Wood-satyr along the wooded edge of clearings and quarries. The body color varies from light brown to tan. The following photos show the light brown version and were taken at a quarry in Rockport where I noticed both tan and light brown forms. Little Wood-satrys are on the wing in the northeast from May through July. The females land on a blade of grass and walk down to the base where she deposits a single egg. The caterpillars feed at night on various grasses including Orchard Grass (Dactylis glomerata), Kentucky Bluegrass (Poa pratensis), Centipede Grass (Eremochloa ophiuroides), and St. Augustine Grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum) (Cech and Tudor).

Kingdom: Anilmalia (Animal)

Phylum: Arthropoda (Arthropods)

Class: Insecta (Insects)

Order: Lepidoptera (Butteflies, skippers, and moths)

Superfamily: Papilionoidea (Butterflies, excluding skippers)

Family: Nymphalidae (Brush-footed butterflies)

Subfamily: Satryinae (Nymphs, Satyrs, and Arctic butterflies)

Genus: Megisto

Species: cymela

Happy Butterfly Days!

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