Friday, July 5, 2013

Wood-Nymph's...No Special Plantings Required

 Encountered two Wood-Nymph butterfly species, Common (Cercyonis pegala) and Small (Cercyonis oetus) while watering yard plantings early this morning. Both butterflies did not nectar on any of the flowers in bloom. Instead they simply rested on the ground (wood bark mulch) as is their behavior at times. They do nectar more than other related species in the Satyrinae subfamily, but also utilize rotting fruit, dung and mud. Grasses are the host plant for larval development. Identification is dependent on size, shape and location of eyespots on underside of front wing. Both are somewhat easy to find in western Montana (Common is distributed throughout the U.S.), though they are definitely not flashy in coloration. Adults are active during July and August so now would be a good time to check your own yard or neighborhood for these insects.
Common Wood-Nymph

Small Wood-Nymph