An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Shade-loving Northern Pearly-Eyes Flying

7-21-14 northern pearly-eye  013To find butterflies, one usually heads for sunny fields or gardens filled with flowers, where the ample supply of nectar beckons these winged beauties. There are some species, however, such as the Northern Pearly-Eye (Enodia anthedon) that are more shade tolerant than most butterflies, and are found primarily in forests and their borders. Northern Pearly-Eyes often fly on cloudy days, and later in the day than many butterflies. The larvae eat a variety of grasses and the adults feed on tree sap (especially willows, poplars and birches), carrion and scat. These butterflies often perch head-down on tree trunks, occasionally gathering in large groups. Northern Pearly-Eyes were quite rare in New England in the mid-to late 19th century due to the large amount of land that was cleared. They have since rebounded, and you can find them during July and August in the shady understory of many New England forests.

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4 responses

  1. I love this butterfly, the color is so appealing to me.

    July 21, 2014 at 12:38 pm

  2. I shall look for them – such gorgeous markings! Perfect camouflage.

    July 21, 2014 at 8:49 pm

  3. Irma Graf

    Beautiful – now I will recognize it (maybe) if I am lucky enough to spot one.

    July 22, 2014 at 6:39 pm

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