Status:    rare resident

Flights:  1, May-Sep?

Distribution/known sites in Monterey County:  a few scattered sites:  Fremont Pk., Arroyo Seco/Indians Rd., upper Carmel Valley Rd., Lewis Creek Rd., Mt. Toro

Habitats:  open grassy woodlands

Host plants:  grasses

Adult foodnectars more avidly than COWN, at legumes, milkweeds, dogbanes, sunflowers, common white buckwheat

Conservation: secure globally


  1.   in flight, arcs above and bobs within tall grasses

  2.   endemic ssp. Sthenele satyr in SF county was first known CA butterfly to go extinct

  3.   FW of male has two eyespots, upper one larger; fem has two large eyespots about the same size; smaller than COWN and has grayish cast


Great basin wood-nymph

Cercyonis sthenele

Life history facts

egg: laid singly on host plant grass stems

larva:  nocturnal; after hatching, hibernate until following spring


adult:  males patrol all day for fems.

arroyo seco camp/indians