Dryad

Minois dryas


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Female, Switzerland, August 2012

Minois dryas

Female, Switzerland, August 2018

Minois dryas

Female, Switzerland, August 2018

Female, Switzerland, July 2008

Minois dryas

Female (on right), with female great sooty satyr, Switzerland, August 2017

Minois dryas

Females, Switzerland, August 2017

Minois dryas

Male, Switzerland, August 2017


Minois dryas

Female, Switzerland, August 2013

Minois dryas

Male, Switzerland, July 2013

Minois dryas

Two females and a male, Switzerland, August 2018

Male, Switzerland, July 2008

Male, Switzerland, July 2008

Minois dryas distribution

Distribution

The dryad is a large and beautiful satyrid of late summer and autumn. It usually flies from the end of July in Switzerland, frequenting hot places with long grass - where, paradoxically, it spends quite a lot of time in the shade or half-shade. It loves nectaring, and gathers in good numbers on favourite plants - knapweeds, thistles, hemp agrimony, scabious &c. Looking huge, black and floppy in flight, it is a delightful species to be with.

The only species you are likely to confuse with this one is the great sooty satyr. In Switzerland, they fly together in many places, though the great sooty satyrs appear earlier in the year and dryads persist longer. In flight, both are large and dark, though the dryad is distinctly larger. If a view of the upperside is had, the dryad has beautiful blue eyes where the great sooty satyr has just white pupils. The underside forewings of dryad show just two, large, blue-pupilled spots, ringed in orange, while the great sooty satyr has two white spots between these, often set in black to give four eyespots in total. The hindwings are also different, though more subtly.

Dryads are generally regarded as scarce, but they are often very common where found. They fly in a single brood, hibernating as caterpillars. The caterpillars feed on various grasses, including cocksfoot, brome grasses and false oat-grass.