http://butterfliesofamerica.com/t/Hermeuptychia_sosybius_a.htm">Carolina Satyr (Hermeuptychia sosybius
), discovered two centuries ago, in 1793: a small brown butterfly, just over an inch in wingspan, with eyespots along the edge of wings. It is one of the most common eastern US butterflies and a usual denizen of shaded, wooded areas, hence the name. The other species was new. It was named "Intricate Satyr" (Hermeuptychia intricata
) for 'the difficulty in recognizing this very distinct species and its intricate ventral wing patterns', Cong & Grishin write. Initially discovered in Brazos Bend State Park
in East Texas, Intricate Satyr is widely distributed all over eastern USA in several states, including Florida and South Carolina.
One discovery leads to another. Being curious about genetic makeup of these Satyrs, Cong & Grishin decided to investigate DNA sequences and genitalia of Satyr populations from South Texas. And it immediately paid off. These populations turned out to be another new species, named "South Texas Satyr" (Hermeuptychia hermybius). Interestingly, South Texas Satyr is a close relative of Carolina Satyr, but Intricate Satyr is rather distant from either of them.
This begs a question about how many more new species of eastern butterflies remain to be discovered and currently hide behind their colourful wings? Nobody really knows, but it is clear that nothing can be further from truth than a statement that there is not much new to be learned about North American butterflies.
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