Butterfly: Wingspan: 1¼ - 1¾ inches (3.5 - 4.3 cm). Wings are brown and lack typical "eyespots." The underside of the hindwing has a silvery patch at the outer margin which contains four black reflective spots or "gems."
ID Tip: On the undersurface hindwing, there is a frosted patch with four black spots that contain glints of iridescence.
Egg: Pearly green orbs, laid singly on host plant.
Caterpillar: Green or brown with pale stripes, two small tails, and two brownish horns on head.
Chrysalis: May be green or brown, possibly depending on the season.
Gemmed Satyrs are Alabama's only satyrs without discernable eyespots. Instead, their plain brown hindwings appear to be ornamented with tiny jewels or "gems." Eyespots are thought to give predators the impression that they are encountering a larger, more dangerous creature. Gemmed Satyrs' markings may serve the same function, since the gemmed hindwing patch bears a remarkable resemblance to the face of a jumping spider (Platycryptus spp.).
Gemmed Satyrs are often the first satyrs that fly in the spring.
A dot on the county map indicates that there is at least one documented record of the species within that county. In some cases, a species may be common throughout the county, in others it may be found in only a specific habitat. The High Count information shows the highest numbers recorded for this species as well as when and where they occurred.
The sightings bar graphs depict the timing of flight(s) within each of three geographic regions. Place your cursor on a bar within the graph to see the number of individuals recorded during that period.
The abundance calendar displays the total number of individuals recorded within each week of the month. Both the graphs and the calendar are on based data collection that began in 2000.
The records analyzed here are only a beginning. As more data is collected, these maps and graphs will paint a more accurate picture of distribution and abundance in Alabama. Submit your sightings to email@example.com.
Sightings in the following counties: Baldwin, Bibb, Blount, Bullock, Calhoun, Chambers, Chilton, Choctaw, Clarke, Clay, Cleburne, Colbert, Covington, Crenshaw, Cullman, Dallas, DeKalb, Elmore, Escambia, Franklin, Hale, Henry, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Lawrence, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Madison, Marengo, Marshall, Mobile, Monroe, Morgan, Perry, Pickens, Randolph, Russell, Shelby, Sumter, Talladega, Tuscaloosa, Washington, Wilcox, Winston
View county names by moving the mouse over a county or view a map with county names
Openings and edges of deciduous woodlands with shady, grassy areas.
These butterflies rarely drink from flowers, but they have been documented nectaring from American Wahoo (Euonymous atropurpureus) in Jackson County.
Grasses, especially woodland species, are reported throughout the range.
Slender Spikegrass/Slender Woodoats is a common host; the highly invasive Cogon Grass has also been documented in Alabama. Other grasses may also be used as hosts.
For more information about these plants, please visit the Alabama Plant Atlas using the links above.
Including native grasses in the landscape supports the caterpillars of many butterfly species, including Gemmed Satyr.
Click on individual photos to view a larger version that includes photo credits, county, and date.
Photos with comments are indicated by a small, tan dot on the bottom right.