Little Wood-Satyr

Megisto cymela

It is always a pleasure to see the first individuals of this species, low to the ground, slowly working their way through the woods in late May or early June. This species is often still present in the July NABA counts, and so seems to announce the beginning of the summertime species.

Weekly sightings for Little Wood-Satyr

Identifying characteristics

Above, a brown butterfly, smaller than the Eyed and Appalachian Browns, with two prominent eyespots on the forewing and on the hindwing, usually one or two eyespots on the male and two on the female. In addition, there may be an additional smaller spot near the body.

Below, there are two distinct lines across both wings, two eyespots on the forewing and two large eyespots on the hindwing as well as several smaller ones.

Similar species

None in Wisconsin, although a beginner may have some confusion with the Northern Pearly-eye and the Appalachian and Eyed Browns. These other species are larger, found later in the season, and usually are stronger fliers compared to the Little Wood-Satyr’s slow methodical flight, low through the woods.

Habitat

A variety of woodland habitats including wooded fence rows and disturbed habitats.

Flight

One brood form late May to early June through early August.

Abundance

At its peak this species may be abundant, with over 100 individuals not an infrequent count total.

Late Little Wood-Satyr Sightings

Date County Reported by
Aug 10, 2004 Columbia erik akmen
Aug 16, 2008 Juneau Mike Reese
Aug 22, 2014 Jackson Fern Springs
Aug 23, 2013 Iowa Sylvia Edlebeck
Aug 24, 2014 Lincoln Randy Powers

Locations

Map showing sighting locations for Little Wood-Satyr
Map key
Little Wood-SatyrClick to enlarge

Sandhill Wildlife Area, Wood Co., WI, July 6, 2003.

Little Wood-SatyrClick to enlarge

Sandhill Wildlife Area, Wood Co., WI, July 6, 2003.

Little Wood-SatyrClick to enlarge

Plainfield TriCounty School Forest, Waushara Co., WI, June 8, 2002.

Little Wood-SatyrClick to enlarge

Germania Marsh, Marquette Co., WI, June 29, 2002.

Little Wood-SatyrClick to enlarge

Captured by a robber fly (asilus sericeus)

Cedar Springs Fishery Area, Waushara Co., WI, July 5, 2004.