New Jersey Butterflies

Northern Pearly-eye

Enodia anthedon

Identification: Small—1.9". Above: FW and HW pale brown with prominent eyespots, mostly larger on the HW. Rarely seen with open wings. Below: Generally brown (lilac-shaded in fresh individuals), with a series of large, yellow-ringed black eyespots on both wings. Bold white lines surrounding the rows of eyespots are much more prominent than in Eyed and Appalachian Browns.

NJ Status and Distribution: Resident. Uncommon south to Hunterdon and Somerset counties. Probably occurs in Essex and Union counties as well.

NJ Range Map-Northern Pearly-eye

Habitat: Moist woodlands, where it usually perches on the ground. When flushed it has a habit of landing on trees head downward. Not a typical garden species.

Flight Period: One brood, mid-June to early September. Extreme dates: 6/13—9/4.

Larval Food Plants: A wide variety of woodland grasses.

Overwintering Stage: Larva.

Best Locations: Delaware Water Gap NRA, Whittingham WMA, White Lake NRA, Appalachian Trail Lands.

Comments: Look for this subtly beautiful butterfly in dappled shade on dirt woodland roads and trails.



Northern Pearly-eye

Walpack, Sussex Co., NJ, 7/1/04.


Northern Pearly-eye

Wildcat Ridge WMA, Morris Co., NJ, 6/30/06.


Bottlebrush Grass

Bottlebrush Grass (Hystrix patula)—one of many host plant grasses.


Japanese Stiltgrass

Eggs on Japanese Stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum).