February 13, 2023
It is not a brightly colored butterfly; it is not large; it is not usually attracted to flowers. The Little Wood-Satyr is, however, reliably present during most nature walks in Eliza Howell Park in late May and early June.
It is common before many of the better-known species begin to claim our attention.
The Little Wood-Satyr has a wingspan of about 1 3/4 inches. The most distinctive feature is the eyespots, the round spots on the wings that are visible whether wings are closed or open.
I often see it when I walk near the edge of the woods in the wildflower field. It is sometimes on the ground, more often low on green plants.
Little Wood-Satyrs rarely eat nectar (I have no photos of one on a bloom). They feed on fluids such as tree sap and aphid honeydew.
The adults are present for only a few weeks. They lay eggs on grass blades and the caterpillars spend the winter in hibernation.
The Little Wood-Satyr does not get the attention that some other (more colorful) butterflies get, but I am always very pleased to see it — with its slow bouncy flight — early in the butterfly season.
They definitely belong on the list of 23 butterflies that I count on seeing in Eliza Howell Park in 2023.
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