South Texas Satyr (Hermeuptychea hermybius) life history
South Texas Satyr (Hermeuptychea hermybius) Life History

Egg, 7-1-15

Neonate, 7-2-15

First instar, 7-5-15

Second instar, 7-7-15

Third instar, 7-13-15

Fourth instar, 7-19-15

Chrysalis, 7-25-15

Fresh adult South Texas Satyr, 7-30-15

As things began to dry out after a wet 2015 spring, I began to find South Texas Satyrs regularly at bait. The Satyrs are only occasional visitors to my yard, so I took the opportunity to confine some females in order to obtain eggs.

The female that provided the focal caterpillar was captured on June 27. She produced 4 eggs by July 1, after which she was released.

The caterpillars emerged from July 2 to July 4. They fed on Guinea Grass (Panicum maximum). Saint Augustine's Grass was also offered, but they never ate it. Only the focal caterpillar survived; I suspect the others died due to insufficient humidity or poor-quality food. As can be seen in the pictures to the right, the neonate was white when it emerged from the egg, and became green with white stripes after feeding. The head was black in the first instar, and green thereafter. The white striping became less pronounced as the caterpillar matured; otherwise, there was little change between instars.

Face of South Texas Satyr

This species was only described by Qian Cong and Nick Grishin in 2014, when DNA analysis helped them determine that there actually were three different species included in the group of butterflies being called "Carolina Satyrs." The paper (ZooKeys 379: 4391 [2014]) can be found online at

The first egg was deposited on June 29, 2015. That caterpillar eclosed 3 days later, and took 20 days to pupate. The adult emerged one week later; the entire cycle took 31 days.

South Texas Satyr Page