Northern Pearly Eye Butterflies Prefer Moist Habitats Near Waterways

Northern Pearly Eye Butterfly at Raccoon Creek State Park

Excuse me? Where’s the butterfly? Oh, yes, there it is…why are you posting a photo with so much foliage and so little butterfly?

Well it’s August 29th and it has rained intermittently for several days at Raccoon Creek State Park in western Pennsylvania. The greenery is lush and the air is moist. Perfect conditions for Northern Pearly Eye butterflies.

Enodia anthedon prefers moist habitat in proximity to moving water. Our other post of E. anthedon shares the dorsal view of this masterpiece of browns, yellow and white spots.

I haven’t answered the opening question. Northern Pearly Eyes are akin to the U.S. Secret Service. They prefer to be in the background, they shun contact and you’ll only see them when conditions are right. They never (I’ve never) are seen nectaring at wildflowers, adding to the scarcity of encounters.

So on the August 29th, when we chanced to go out and scope butterflies, despite the very wet conditions, we groused to ourselves that the 37 mile drive has been unproductive…until we looked to the right, into the greenery and Wallah! this beauty of a secret agent.

The adrenalin pumped, exposures were made boom-boom-boom…and this image happily presented itself.

One never knows when setting out…