Great Sooty Satyr (Satyrus ferula)

Male. Taken in the Vercors NP, France, on July 25th 2018.
(1/50th sec at f14. Approx 2x lifesixe. © David Hastings)

Female. Taken in the Vercors NP, France, on July 25th 2018.
(1/1000th sec at f13. Approx 2x lifesize. © David Hastings)


Wing span: 50 - 60mm

A large butterfly which shows a significant amount of sexual dimorphism. The males are very dark, with two white-pupilled ocelli on each forewing. The females show a more typical combination of greys and browns, with some orange on the forewing.

It is widespread and locally common in southern Europe from the central Pyrenees to the south Balkans. More sporadic in its western range and in Italy.

It is found in dry, warm and grassy clearings in woods, bushy and rocky edges of oak forests, rough hillsides and rocky mountain slopes mostly between 500 and 1800m.

There is one generation per year from early June to late August.

The larvae feed on fescues and other grasses.


25-Jul-2018 : Vercors Natural Park, France
20-Jul-2018 : Vercors Natural Park, France

09-Jun-2017 : Paklenica National Park, Croatia
08-Jun-2017 : Paklenica National Park, Croatia