Northern Pearly Eye Butterfly . . . Looking Just Fine!

Northern Pearly Eye Butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania

This is the butterfly that prefers the shady forest edge. This is the northeastern butterfly that can be seen on a cloudy, rain-threatened day. This is the one that the corner of your eye spots, just as it flees into the forest. I don’t remember ever seeing a Northern Pearly Eye nectaring on a flower. What do they consume, then? Sap flowing from a tree trunk flow, or the super-rich nutrients from trail . . . scat.

All this makes this a frustrating butterfly, unpredictable on the trail hike, difficult to set out to find, and frustrating when you do see one, you knowing that its almost certain that what you see there will be gone in ¼ of a second. Whoosh! gone.

Know then how exhilarated I was, to meet this one at an acid bog in western New York state. I’ve seen them in New York, in Pennsylvania, in Maryland, in Georgia and in Florida. Right then and there, no doubt was there, that this one was just Fine!

A brushfoot butterfly of the shaded forest. Decorated with sophisticated colors and shades and eyespots, that coax and relax the eyes. Those yellowish rings that encircle those eyespots? Yummy!!


4 thoughts on “Northern Pearly Eye Butterfly . . . Looking Just Fine!

    • Pennsylvania is fully in their range. They’re usually not seen, unless, you hike trails bordered by moist woods. They prefer these forest edges. Even so, Deb would have to be on the lookout for Northern Pearly Eyes, for as you approach, they go bye-bye! Thanks.


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