Little Wood Satyr

Megisto cymela

Summary 5

The Little Wood Satyr (Megisto cymela) is a species in the family Nymphalidae, subfamily Satyrinae that occurs in North America. Easily distinguished from the Carolina Satyr with the upper side of wings with prominent eyespots.

Adults feed mainly on sap flows from trees, the "honeydew" secretions of Aphididae, and fluids from decaying mushrooms. They only occasionally take nectar from flowers.

Description 6

The wingspan is 29–48 mm. The forewing has two yellow-rimmed black eye spots on both sides, dorsal and ventral. The hind wing has two spots on the dorsal side but have smaller spots on the ventral. The other all color is light brown. The Wood Satyr is comparably larger than the Carolina Satyr.

Larva Description 5

The body is light brown with a dark dorsal line and alternating brown and yellowish lateral stripes. The surface of the caterpillar has bumps, these bumps bear short reddish-brown hairs. The head is dirty white while the tail hairs are light gray.

Larval Host Plants 7

Larvae have been found eating several grass species in the wild: Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis), orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata), centipede grass (Eremochloa ophiuroides), and St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum). They may eat other kinds of grass as well, but not broad-leaved plants.

Similar host plants to the Carolina Satyr.

GTM Occurrence 8

The Little Wood Satyr is considered a common species at the GTM. It occurs along all transects, but is mainly a forest dwelling species. It is most abundant along the Red Bay Walk (Transect D) where 89% of the individuals were observed. This is a spring species and occurs only in March (most abundant) and April. Peak abundance of the Little Wood Satyr was in 2009 (223 specimens) and 2011 (198 specimens). In 2014 only 2 specimens were observed. There have been 620 specimens observed as of December 28, 2015.

Distribution 9

Global Range: Eastern North America, extending: north to southern Canada, south to northern Mexico, and west to Saskatchewan, the Dakotas, and Texas.

Habitat 10

The Little Wood Satyr lives where grasses and trees grow together: along edges of forest, in open woodlands, and in meadows near trees. The species is most populous where this habitat is combined with relatively alkaline soils. Larvae live on the grasses they eat, and probably hibernate in leaf litter. Adults tend to fly close to cover, especially in open fields. Males patrol for females, but tend to stay in shade.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: savanna or grassland ; forest

Other Habitat Features: suburban ; agricultural

Nature serve conservation status 11

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Euclid vanderKroew, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), http://www.flickr.com/photos/34878540@N08/3645864448
  2. (c) Tom Potterfield, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), https://www.flickr.com/photos/tgpotterfield/14275759298/
  3. (c) muscogeegirl, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), https://www.flickr.com/photos/muscogeegirl/17798919838/
  4. (c) gtmresearchreserve, all rights reserved, uploaded by GTMResearchReserve, http://www.inaturalist.org/photos/2865822
  5. Adapted by GTMResearchReserve from a work by (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megisto_cymela
  6. (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megisto_cymela
  7. Adapted by GTMResearchReserve from a work by (c) The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), http://eol.org/data_objects/25065554
  8. (c) GTMResearchReserve, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)
  9. (c) NatureServe, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), http://eol.org/data_objects/28771888
  10. (c) The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), http://eol.org/data_objects/25065548
  11. (c) NatureServe, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), http://eol.org/data_objects/28771882

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