Family Satyridae, the Satyrs and Wood-Nymphs
- This family is considered by some authors to be a subfamily of the Nymphalidae,
the Brush-footed butterflies, because the forelegs of both sexes in both Families
are reduced in size. Unlike most of the Nymphalidae, however, the bases
of the veins of the forewing are swollen in all the Satyridae. The swollen
parts contain special hearing organs.
- There are about 50 species of this family in North America, with nine occurring
in Idaho. All belong to the subfamily Satyrinae.
- In addition to the traits described above, the butterflies of this family
can generally be characterized by the following: 1) medium size, with a wingspan
of 1 to 2 inches; 2) wings fairly plain, usually brown, gray, or orange in
color, often with eyespots; 3) antenna
with swollen but not knobbed tips; and 4) males often have a stigma (region of
scent scales used in attracting females) on the forewing.
- Satyrs are often found in forest openings or in grassy fields and meadows.
Other species belonging to this family, commonly called Arctics and Alpines,
occur where their name describes. Wood-nymphs, however, are found in
a variety of habitats including sagebrush steppe.
- Eggs are generally elongated or dome-shaped. Caterpillars are often
green and well camouflaged, and have two "tails"
at the rear. They most commonly feed on grasses and sedges, and are
often the stage which overwinters. Pupae, sometimes within a silk cocoon, may
suspend from a cremaster
or may be nestled in a leaf nest on or under ground.
Family Members in Idaho: