eyed brown

(Lethe eurydice)

Conservation Status
eyed brown
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N4 - Apparently Secure

SNR - Unrated

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Eyed brown is an medium-sized, uncommon, brushfoot butterfly. It has a 1½ to 2 7 16 wingspan and is found in open, sunny, wet areas.

The upperside of both wings are mostly medium brown with two thin, dark brown, marginal lines, and a light brown fringe on the outer margin. As the butterfly ages the wings become paler.

The upperside of the forewing has a dark brown, jagged, postmedian line and an irregular, light brown, submarginal band. There is a straight row of black submarginal eyespots. The eyespots are somewhat blurry, are of nearly equal intensity, and increase in size from top to bottom. They do not have white centers (pupils). Each eyespot is surrounded by a pale ring, though this may not be noticeable in some individuals.

The hindwing is slightly scalloped. The upperside of the hindwing has a curved row of five submarginal eyespots, and a single postmedian eyespot near the inner margin. Two of the lower submarginal eyespots have a white pupil. The innermost spot, near the anal angle, is reduced in size to a black dot. It is rare to see more than three or four of the eyespots from above when the butterfly is perched.

The underside of the forewing is light brown with two dark brown, jagged, horizontal lines crossing the wing horizontally and a blackish-brown line at the end of the forewing cell. There is a straight row of four yellow eyespots with sharply defined black centers and white pupils. Each eyespot is surrounded by a dark ring that touches the dark ring of the adjacent eyespots. A pale ring surrounds the row of eyespots.

The underside of the hindwing is light brown with two dark brown, jagged, horizontal lines crossing the wing horizontally and a blackish-brown line at the end of the hindwing cell. The innermost (basal) line is mostly straight but deeply indented, forming a noticable, inwardly-directed “tooth” between the second and third veins. The outermost line is jagged and forms a shallow “M” shape. There is a curved row of five yellow submarginal eyespots, and a single yellow postmedian eyespot near the inner margin. The submarginal eyespots are well separated and do not touch adjacent eyespots. Each eyespot has a sharply defined black center with a white pupil and is surrounded by a dark ring and a pale ring. The lowest one (nearest to the body) is a double eyespot, with two small black spots and two white pupils.

The antenna and club are striped black and white. The antenna club has an orange tip.

In southern Minnesota (Freeborn, Faribault, and Watonwan counties) there is a dark variant called smokey eyed brown (Lethe eurydice fumosa). They are noticeably darker: seen from above the forewing has five eyespots instead of four; seen from below it has six eyespots instead of five. The Nature Conservancy gives this variant a Global Rank of 3, “vulnerable to extirpation or extinction, 21–100 known occurrences.”

 
     
 

Size

 
 

1½ to 2 7 16 wingspan

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
 

A light outer ring around each eyespot helps to distinguish this satyr from the northern pearly-eye (Lethe anthedon) and little wood-satyr (Megisto cymela).

Appalachian brown (Lethe appalachia) has forewing eyespots of unequal intensity. The underside of the hindwing has a straight basal line with no indentation between the second and third veins. It is found in moist woodlands near wetlands.

 
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Wet meadows, cattail marshes, slow moving streams, ditches.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

One brood: late June to mid-August.

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

Adults make short flights over and within low plant growth. Though shy, they perch frequently, making it a relatively easy subject to photograph and identify.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

The male patrols in search of females, occasionally perching and waiting for a female to pass by. After mating, the female scatters eggs on plants near a host plant. When the eggs hatch the larvae must crawl to the host plant. Larvae overwinter as third or fourth stage instars.

 
     
 

Larva Hosts

 
 

Leaves of sedges (Carex spp.), mostly tussock sedge (Carex stricta), but also brome-like sedge (Carex bromoides), lake sedge (Carex lacustris), hop sedge (Carex lupulina), hairy-fruit sedge (Carex trichocarpa), and other broad-leaved sedges.

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Mostly sap and bird droppings, but occasionally flower nectar.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 20, 21, 29, 30, 71.

 
  8/7/2020      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Uncommon

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)  
 

Suborder

Glossata  
 

Infraorder

Neolepidoptera  
  Parvorder Heteroneura  
  No Rank Ditrysia  
  No Rank Obtectomera  
 

Superfamily

Papilionoidea (butterflies [excluding skippers])  
 

Family

Nymphalidae (brush-foots)  
 

Subfamily

Satyriinae (satyrs and wood-nymphs)  
 

Tribe

Satyrini  
  Subtribe Lethina  
 

Genus

Lethe  
  Subgenus Satyrodes  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Papilio canthus

Papilio eurydice

Satyrodes eurydice

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

eyed brown

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

Upper Side

 
    eyed brown      
           
 

Underside

 
    eyed brown   eyed brown  
           
    eyed brown   eyed brown  
           

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
Eyed Brown (Satyrodes eurydice)
Andree Reno Sanborn
  Eyed Brown (Satyrodes eurydice)  
Satyrodes eurydice (Eyed Brown)
Allen Chartier
  Satyrodes eurydice (Eyed Brown)  
     

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

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Other Videos
 
  Eyed Brown (Nymphalidae: Lethe eurydice) on Leaf
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jul 22, 2010

Photographed at the Rydell NWR, Minnesota (21 July 2010). Thank you to Bill Reynolds (@Bugguide.net) for identifying this specimen!

 
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
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MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
   

 

 

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