Alabama Butterfly Atlas

Butterfly: Wingspan: 1¼ - 1½ inches (3.2 - 3.8 cm). Upperside is brown with no markings. Underside is brown; both wings have many small eyespots rimmed with yellow.

ID Tip: Upper surfaces are plain and unmarked.

Egg: Greenish white orbs deposited singly on host plant

Caterpillar: Pale green with darker green stripes and short yellow hairs. Hind end tails are very short. The head is rounded and does not have the typical horns that are typical of satyr caterpillars. 

Chrysalis: Green with two ridges; black dots on each side and along the wing case margins.The black dots near the wing are reportedly absent on Intricate Satyr pupae.

Carolina Satyrs are butterfly plain Janes and the smallest of Alabama's satyrs. Their muddy-brown hindwings are adorned only with dark brown ripples and modest eyespots.  When they bask, their fully extended wings reveal no embellishments.  Only swollen forewing veins that function as vibration sensors break the expanse of dull, gray-brown scales.

Carolina Satyrs are common throughout Alabama, especially in moist forested areas.  Constantly bobbing and weaving among grassy patches, they rarely rise more than a foot above the ground.  Males are constantly searching for potential mates, tirelessly inspecting every nook and cranny for females.  Both sexes gain nourishment from rotting fruit, animal droppings, fungi, and tree sap.  Like may butterflies that reportedly never nectar at flowers, Carolina Satyrs do sometimes, especially in autumn.

Distribution and Abundance

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

Sightings in the following counties: Autauga, Baldwin, Barbour, Bibb, Blount, Bullock, Butler, Calhoun, Chambers, Cherokee, Chilton, Choctaw, Clarke, Clay, Cleburne, Coffee, Colbert, Conecuh, Coosa, Covington, Crenshaw, Cullman, Dale, Dallas, Dekalb, DeKalb, Elmore, Escambia, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Geneva, Greene, Hale, Henry, Houston, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Lee, Limestone, Lowndes, Macon, Madison, Marengo, Marion, Marshall, Mobile, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Perry, Pickens, Pike, Randolph, Russell, Shelby, St. Clair, Sumter, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, Walker, Washington, Wilcox, Winston

  • Map Symbol for Recent Sightings Sightings in the past 5 years
  • Map Symbol for Semi-Recent Sightings Sightings in the past 5 - 10 years
  • Map Symbol for Old Sightings Sightings more than 10 years ago

High count(s):

  • 170 - Colbert - 8/31/2013
  • 155 - Colbert - 9/1/2013
  • 150 - Colbert - 9/7/2012
County Distribution Map

View county names by moving the mouse over a county or view a map with county names

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
3 9 56 123 336 389 527 868 798 670 491 156 326 75 123 365 334 293 319 229 261 363 536 539 1233 1210 559 257 671 386 282 241 114 85 34 24 4 2 3 1


A variety of woodland habitats

Carolina Satyr
Carolina Satyr (Hermeuptychia sosybius)
© Sara Bright

Host and Nectar Plants

Various grasses are reported throughout the range.


Carolina Satyr
Carolina Satyr (Hermeuptychia sosybius)
© Sara Bright
Carolina Satyr
Carolina Satyr (Hermeuptychia sosybius)
© Sara Bright

Landscaping Ideas

Native grasses in the landscape support the caterpillars of several butterfly species, including Carolina Satyrs.