Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Small Wood-Nymph
Cercyonis oetus (Boisduval, 1869)


Family: Nymphalidae
Subfamily: Satyrinae
Identification: Wings are light to very dark brown; wing fringes are checkered. Upperside of forewing usually has 1 eyespot in the male, 2 eyespots in the female; upper eyespot is larger. Underside of forewing of both sexes has lower eyespot smaller and nearer to the wing edge than the upper eyespot.
Wing Span: 1 1/4 - 1 3/4 inches (3.2 - 4.5 cm).
Life History: Males patrol all day for females, who deposit eggs singly on the host plant. First-stage caterpillars hibernate unfed until the following spring.
Flight: One brood from June-August.
Caterpillar Hosts: Unknown grasses.
Adult Food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Dry chaparral, sagebrush, grasslands, scrub, open woodland, meadows.
Range: British Columbia east to southern Saskatchewan and western North Dakota; south to eastern California, Nevada, central Arizona, and New Mexico.
Conservation: Not usually required.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: None reported.
Comments: NULL

Pollinator Week was June 20-26, 2022!

Butterflies and moths are accidental pollinators of many flowering plants. While most species do not have special structures to carry pollen, they do brush against pollen and transfer it to other flowers.

Did you know? The Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas) flies close to the ground and uses its short proboscis to probe flowers of wild strawberry, white sweet clover, and other low-lying plants.