Viola's Wood Satyr (Megisto viola [Maynard])
Wing span: 1 11/16 - 1 15/16 inches (4.3 - 5 cm).
Identification: Light brown. Upperside has 2 large eyespots on each wing. Underside of both wings has distinct markings; the dark postmedian line is strongly bowed.
Life history: Adults have a slow bouncing flight and will rise as far as the tops of tall trees. Males patrol in the shade to find females. Eggs are laid singly on grass blades, which the caterpillars eat.
Flight: One flight; April in Florida, later elsewhere.
Caterpillar hosts: Orchard grass (Dactylis glomerata) and centipede grass (Eremochloa ophiuroides).
Adult food: Sap, aphid honeydew, rarely flower nectar.
Habitat: Grassy woods.
Range: Along the Atlantic Coast from South Carolina south to central Florida. The range is probably larger, but is not well-defined.
Conservation: Ecological requirements are not understood.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G3 - Very rare or local throughout its range or found locally in a restricted range (21 to 100 occurrences). (Threatened throughout its range).
Management needs: Study habitat requirements, status, and need for conservation.
Opler, P. A. and G. O. Krizek. 1984. Butterflies east of the Great Plains. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 294 pages, 54 color plates. Opler, P. A. and V. Malikul. 1992. A field guide to eastern butterflies. Peterson field guide #4. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston. 396 pages, 48 color plates. Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann
State and Regional References:
Gerberg, E.J. and Arnett, R.H., Jr. Florida Butterflies. Natural Science Publications, Inc. Baltimore, MD. 90 pp. Kimball, C.P. 1965. Arthropods of Florida and Neighboring Land Areas - Vol. 1: Lepidoptera of Florida. Div. of Plant Industry, State of Florida Dept. of Agriculture. Gainesville, FL. 363 pp. Minno, M.C. and Emmel, T.C. 1993. Butterflies of the Florida Keys. Scientific Publishers. Gainesville, FL. 168 pp. Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston. Smith, D.S., Miller, L.D. and Miller, J.Y. 1994. The Butterflies of the West Indies and South Florida. Oxford Univ. Press. Oxford, U.K. 264 pp.