This one has long baffled me. I met it on Mr. Meron in June. It flew onto that fav trail of mine, and landed. I’d never seen it before, and with its wings tightly closed, I couldn’t see its upper (dorsal) surface. After much study of my Israeli butterfly field guides, and examination of butterfly images online, I think, maybe, that I can identify this challenger.
My present thinking is that this is a Hyponephele Iycaon libanotica, first named by Staudinger in 1901.
Why wasn’t I closer you might ask? I was shooting as usual with my Canon Macro- lens, and after capturing this image, I Ohhh so cautiously moved closer, only to have it . . .
Stealth. That’s what you need to approach a basking Northern Pearly-Eye Butterfly. This one was perched just right, affording views of both upper wing surface and lower (ventral) wing surface. It’s as if we positioned it for the best possible pose. So hold your breathe and follow the approach technique described in our Technique feature. We took this photograph on Nichol Road trail at Raccoon Creek State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania.
This will be our 4th post of Enodia anthedon, and once again we share the richness of its chocolate- browns and cocoa on its wing. Eyespots on the dorsal (upper) surface broadcast their solid brown centers. The eyespots on the ventral wing sport yellowish rings with dramatic white pupils. The photograph evokes the kind of image that would work well in a chocolate shop in Sao Paulo or London or Tribeca or Seattle.
Meeting such a handsome Northern Pearly-Eye that is wistfully enjoying some morning sun, reminds you of the time that you went downtown and taken by surprise. OMG! isn’t that? Fill in the name of a uber! famous person.
Gender? I think that this butterfly is male. It has 4 eyespots on the ventral forewing and the forewings pointed at their front ends.
Remember that this is a species whose habitat is a wooded and especially moist locale. The butterfly is infrequently spotted. When I do see it I must quickly check aperture and shutter speed, because it is almost always found in the shade. Photographing a Northern Pearly-Eye butterfly may even require a polarizing filter, because of morning dew all around. This one made it a bit easier, perched on a leaf with conditions being drier than expected.
A morning maker, for sure.
PS. This photograph is featured in our poster for an upcoming presentation at Raccoon Creek State Park.