Satyrs and Wood Nymphs

Satyrs and wood nymphs are brownish or gray butterflies with an eyespot on each wing. Although the wings are large, compared with the slender body, satyrs are weak fliers. The wingspan ranges from one to three inches (25 to 76 mm). Satyrs are found in shady areas, especially on the edges of woods. The caterpillar is greenish or brownish and appears to have a forked tail.

Satyrs and wood nymphsSatyrs and wood nymphs have an eyespot on each wing.
What Are Satyrs and Wood Nymphs?

Satyrs (SAT uhrz) and wood nymphs (nihmfz) are a group of related butterflies that live all over the world. The northern and southern pearly eye are examples of common satyrs in the United States. They are brown with eyespot markings near the edges of their wings.

Some scientists classify satyrs and wood nymphs in their own family. But other scientists include them into the brush-footed butterfly family.

Most kinds of satyrs and wood nymphs live in or near woods. They often perch on tree trunks. Most of these butterflies feed on flower nectar. But some sip sap from trees or liquids from rotting fruit or carrion (decaying meat).

Although most of these butterflies live in or near the woods, some are able to survive where it is too cold for trees to grow. These butterflies are sometimes called arctic butterflies. They can survive in the frozen tundra of the Arctic Circle or high up in the mountains.

Family: Satyridae. Examples:

Common Wood Nymph, or Grayling

(Cercyonis pegala). Colors vary, but most have large yellow area on fore wings with two dark eyespots. Found throughout United States and Canada.

Little Wood Satyr

(Euptychia cymela). Dark brown above with yellow-ringed eyespots. Tan below. Very common throughout United States and Canada.