Unlike the Common Wood-nymph (Cercyonis pegala) that was featured last week and has two eyespots on the forewing about the same size (or lower eyespot might be slightly larger), the Small’s lower eyespot is smaller than the upper one and the lower is closer to the wing edge. These butterflies range from British Columbia east to southern Saskatchewan and western North Dakota; south to eastern California, Nevada, central Arizona, and New Mexico. They are on the wing in dry chaparral, sagebrush, grasslands, scrub, open woodland, and meadows mainly from June to August, but as late as September in some areas. They can be seen sipping from flowers as well as from mud, rotting fruit, dung and carrion. First-stage caterpillars overwinter unfed until the following spring, when they will begin feeding on grasses (Festuca and Poa, probably Koeleria).
Photo by Glenn Marangelo on 8/16/20 in Condon, MT.