Like the Will of the Wisp, One Never Knows When You’ll Encounter a Northern Pearly Eye Butterfly

Northern Pearly Eye Butterfly at Raccoon Creek State Park

Ah, the Northern Pearly Eye Butterfly. Like the Will of the Wisp, one never can be sure when you will encounter one. This one was at Raccoon Creek State Park in Western Pennsylvania.

It’s early morning and our individual butterfly is basking in the modest morning sunlight at the edge of the woods. She nicely shows the black and orange-tipped antennal club.

Enodia anthedon is unique amongst the butterflies that I encounter. E. anthedon regularly flies when the sky is overcast, even when a fine drizzle mists the air. Almost all other butterflies cannot be seen during such weather.

This is a fine looking Northern Pearly Eye, nearly perfect but for the small tears in the forewing tips. Birds? Snakes? ?.

A subsequent post will be of the ventral (underside) view, with its distinctive ‘pearly eyes.’

So, if you out on a trail at the edge of a woodlot, on a cloudy morning, and there’s a stream nearby, don’t be surprised if you happen upon a very demure, Northern Pearly Eye. Sometimes they stay, other times they speed away.