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New Jersey Endangered and Threatened Species Field Guide
Neonympha areolatus septentrionalis
Species Group: Invertebrate
State: Special Concern
The Georgia satyr is brown in color with no markings on the upperside of its body. The underside of the hindwing has a row of elongated eyespots that have a red line encircling them.
DISTRIBUTION AND HABITAT
The Georgia Satyr is typically found in the southeastern United States from Virginia along the Atlantic coast to Florida and west to Texas. This species is found in one distinct population in Lakehurst, New Jersey. However, the next closest population of Georgia Satyrs is over 200 miles south of in southeastern Virginia. The New Jersey population is likely a subspecies of the southern population. The New Jersey population appears to be larger than their southern cousins and have rounded wings. They also show more prominent eyespots than the southern population.
Georgia satyrs in the south prefer a variety of moist to wet wooded habitats and bogs. They are not found far from tree cover. The subspecies in New Jersey is more limited to bogs, meadows, wet savannas, and other habitats with lots of moss.
Very little is known about the diet of the Georgia satyr. It is thought that the larvae or caterpillars feed on sedges. It is unknown what Georgia satyr adults feed on.
As with diet, little is also known about the life cycle of Georgia satyrs. Males look for females by flying low over vegetation. Females lay their eggs singly on host plants. After hatching, the larvae eat the leaves of the host plant. In New Jersey, one brood occurs from June to July.
CURRENT STATUS, THREATS, AND CONSERVATION
New Jersey currently lists the Georgia Satyr as a species of Special Concern. There is still much to discover about the subspecies in New Jersey and also the southern population. They are a fairly common butterfly in the south and are likely a secure population. However, Georgia satyrs are under threat because they are quickly losing habitat to pine plantations and development. They may soon become quite rare in their southern range if conservation needs are not met.
In 2015, the New Jersey Endangered and Nongame Advisory Committee recommended changing this species' status from Special Concern to Threatened within the state, but no formal rule proposal has been filed to date.
HOW TO HELP
The Endangered and Nongame Species Program would like for individuals to report their sightings of Georgia satyrs. Record the date, time, location, and condition of the animal and submit the information by submitting a Sighting Report Form. The information will be entered into the state’s natural heritage program, commonly referred to as Biotics. Biologists map the sighting and the resulting maps “allow state, county, municipal, and private agencies to identify important wildlife habitats and protect them in a variety of ways. This information is used to regulate land-use within the state and assists in preserving endangered and threatened species habitat remaining in New Jersey.”
Text written by Emily Heiser in 2011 and updated by Mike Davenport in 2016.
Species: N. areolatus septentrionalis
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