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Butterflies of Mexico, USA & Canada
Little Wood Satyr
Megisto cymela  LINNAEUS, 1763
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - SATYRINAE
Tribe - SATYRINI
subtribe - EUPTYCHIINA
Megisto cymela Amity Place, Massachusetts, USA Frank Model
Introduction
There are about 400 known species in the subtribe Euptychiina. Its members are characterised by having short antennae, rounded wings with conspicuous ocelli, and sub-median and post-median lines. They also have a pair of fine submarginal lines, the innermost of which is always scalloped. All of these markings are prominent on the underside, but are repeated in a more subtle manner on the upperside. The majority of species are earthy brown in colour, but there are several e.g. in the genera Caeruleuptychia and Cepheuptychia which are overlaid with a beautiful blue iridescence.
The genus Megisto comprises of just 3 species - rubricata which is found in the southern states of the USA and south to Guatemala, pellonia which is endemic to northern Mexico and cymela which is found in the eastern USA.
Habitats
This butterfly breeds in woodland glades and clearings in lowland areas.
Lifecycle
The egg is yellowish-green and is deposited singly on grasses, or sometimes on bare soil or at the base of tree trunks. The larva is pale brown with a slight greenish tinge. It has a series of fine dark lines along the back and sides. It feeds nocturnally on Dactylis, Eremochloa and possibly on other grasses. The pupa is straw-coloured with dark brown spots and streaks, and is suspended by the cremaster from a grass stem.
Adult behaviour

The adults feed on aphid secretions 'honeydew' on the foliage of trees and bushes, and sometimes visit sap runs, but are rarely observed at flowers. Males patrol incessantly in shady areas searching for females. The flight is slow and bobbing, with deep wing beats.

 

 

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