Common Name: Little wood satyr
Scientific Name: Hermeuptychia (Euptychia) hermes (Fabricius)
Description: This butterfly, with a 1-1/4 inch wingspan, is brown with faint lines on top. The underside is brown with grainy white haze, several wavy narrow dark brown lines, and yellow circling and black eyespot markings along the margins of the front (five eyespots) and hind (six eyespots) wings. Caterpillars are light green with darker strips along their sides and their bodies are covered with yellow, hairy tubercles.
This is one species in the family of butterflies (Satyridae) known as “satyrs” and “wood nymphs.” Eight other species occur in the state, mainly in semi-wooded areas. These include the gemmed satyr, Cyllopsis (Euptychia) gemma (Hübner), which has a reflective patch (black oblong spots in small silver outer margin) on the underside of the hind wing; the little wood satyr, Megisto (Euptychia) cymela cymela (Cramer), with two eyespots along the margin of each wing on the upper surface (both in eastern half of Texas); the red satyr, M. rubricata Edwards, upper wing surfaces orange-brown with single yellow-ringed black eyespots on front and hind wings (western half of Texas); and, the common wood nymph, Ceryonis pegala (Fabricius), a larger (2-1/2 inch wingspan) butterfly with upper surfaces of forewings marked with yellow to orange patches containing one or two eyespots (central and north central to east Texas).
Life Cycle: Two or three generations annually.
Habitat and Food Source(s): Caterpillars have chewing mouth parts. Adults have siphoning mouths. Common in the eastern half of the state in moist wooded areas. Caterpillars feed on Poaceae grasses, Axonopus compressus and Cynodon dactylon.
Pest Status: Harmless.
See also Butterfly Gardening in Texas.
Literature: Howe 1975; Neck 1996; Wright 1993.