Mead's Wood Nymph (Cercyonis meadii [W. H. Edwards])
Wing span: 1 3/8 - 1 3/4 inches (3.5 - 4.5 cm).
Identification: Upperside is chocolate-brown. Forewing has a reddish patch which surrounds eyespots; upper eyespot is usually the largest. Underside of forewing is mostly reddish; hindwing is mottled brown and white with only a few small eyespots.
Life history: Males patrol all day to find females. Eggs are laid singly on the host plant. Caterpillars hatch and then go into hibernation, not feeding until the following spring.
Flight: One brood from late July-early September.
Caterpillar hosts: Grasses.
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Juniper-pinyon woodland and dry, open pine forest.
Range: Eastern Montana, western North Dakota, eastern Wyoming, and central Colorado south to central Utah, central Arizona, southeast New Mexico, west Texas, and northwest Chihuahua, Mexico.
Conservation: Not usually required.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management needs: None reported.
Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates. Tilden, J. W. 1986. A field guide to western butterflies. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. 370 pages, 23 color plates.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann
State and Regional References:
Opler, Paul A. 1999. Peterson Field Guide to Western Butterflies, revised edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western USA Butterflies. Privately published, Denver, Colo.