Saint Francis’ Satyr Butterfly
Neonympha mitchellii francisci
We always knew our farm would name itself, but one choice that continued to come up was, an endangered butterfly. The Saint Francis’ Satyr. We know this butterfly exists in our area of Virginia.
There are 12 known populations of Saint Francis’ satyrs in the southeastern United States. The first identified population was discovered in the Sandhills region of North Carolina in 1983. In 1998, intensive survey efforts located 10 more populations in Virginia, and in 2000 one population was discovered in Alabama.
In North Carolina and Virginia, Saint Francis’ satyrs also occur in wetlands dominated by sedges. There is light to moderate grazing by livestock at these sites. There is very limited shrub cover at the Virginia sites, primarily smooth alder (Alnus serrutalata). There are ground water seepages and springs at most sites, and mud or gravel bottom streams in all sites. The dominant plant species is bulrush (Scirpus expansus).