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Little Wood-Satyr (Megisto cymela)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Little Wood-Satyr.

 Updated: 6/11/2019; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




Often seen in all kinds of summer weather, Little Wood-Satyrs charm with their many eyespots and silver streaks.



This light brown butterfly is abundant in the eastern part of the continent. A brighter variation seen in the southern part of its range may also be called Viola's Wood-Satyr. It is believed to be the same species, but it may just be extremely closely related. It is also possible that intermediate variations of the Little Wood-Satyr exist, but no strong confirmation means that no new species offshoot exists yet. What is certain is that they all have two black eyespots rimmed in yellow that sit on the underside of each wing, some of which have twin pupils. Silvery marks between the eyespots gleam in sunlight and are more pronounced in some individuals than others. Two long orange-brown lines cross the wings near the center and two more round the bottom edges. On the top of the wings, the eyespots are still visible though they are smaller; the hindwings may only seem to have one eyespot. The spots may appear to be encircled in a light brown watermark. The face of the Little Wood-Satyr has a tuft of hair on the front and only four of its six legs are visible when it is standing. It is a type of Brush-footed Butterlfy, which means two of its legs are much smaller than the other four and are not used for walking. Instead, these short hairy legs help the butterfly smell and taste its surroundings.

Caterpillars feed on a variety of grasses. One to three broods are produced each year.
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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Nymphalidae
          Genus: Megisto
            Species: cymela
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Megisto cymela
Other Name(s): Viola's Wood-Satyr
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 29mm to 48mm (1.13in to 1.87in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown, tan, yellow, black, blue, white, orange
Descriptors: light brown, silvery, yellow rings, eyespots, flying, intermediates, two stripes
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.


Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Graphic showing basic anatomy of a common North American butterfly and moth insect
1
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
2
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
3
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
4
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
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Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
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Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.