Small butterfly with a wingspan up to 1-1/2 inches. The upperside is brown with no markings. The underside is lighter brown, with two dark lines and two dark dashes. There is a row of small, yellow-rimmed black eyespots along the margin of the hindwing, one large eyespot on the forewing and three eyespots on the hindwing. Spring adults may be larger than summer adults, with relatively smaller eyespots. The caterpillar is green, with many small pale spots, two short tails, and several white stripes on the sides. The chrysalis is green.
Southeastern United States, north to Virginia and west to Oklahoma; Mexico.
Distribution and Abundance in Florida:
Abundant in Florida, except in the Keys; adults and caterpillars present all year in South Florida.
Woodlands, swamps and hammocks.
Three broods per year in northern part of range; more in Florida. The light green eggs are laid singly on the leaves of host plants.
Adults fly close to the ground with a weak, bobbing flight; they prefer shaded areas. Caterpillars rest on the undersides of leaves.
Caterpillars feed on leaves of host plants. Native larval host plants include the cultivated woodsgrass (Oplismenus hirtellus subsp. setarius). Weedy native host plants include common carpetgrass (Axonopus fissifolius), sour paspalum (Paspalum conjugatum) and tropical carpetgrass (Axonopus compressus). Nonnative host plants include centipede grass (Eremochloa ophiuroides), signal grass (Urochloa distachya) and St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum). Adults feed on sap and rotting fruit.