Living With Mitchell Satyrs

Mitchell satyr

Mitchell satyr

The Mitchell Satyr, Neonympha mitchellii mitchellii, is an endangered butterfly found mostly Michigan, and Northern Indiana. It inhabits fens feeding on tussock sedge. Before human development, habitat was created by beaver dams and fires that removed trees that shade the host plants. Habitat is limited and subject to unintentional destruction by human activities that alter the water flow of the area such as efforts to drain sites or creating ponds. Invasive species such as buckthorn colonize the habitat and displace food plants by creating shade. Buckthorn must be removed manually or by controlled burns.

Many of the habitat sites are on private property, which can create conflicts between conservationists and property owners. Michigan has a habitat conservation plan with incentives for landowner participation. In late December, Mitchell satyrs are overwintering as caterpillars on host plants close to the ground. The adults fly for only the first few weeks after the summer solstice. The Sarrett Nature Center in Southwest Michigan offers ecotours and opportunity to view adults during the flight season.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in by jjneal, Endangered Species. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Living With Mitchell Satyrs

  1. Pingback: Living With Mitchell Satyrs – Entomo Planet

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