New Jersey Butterflies

Eyed Brown

Satyrodes eurydice

Identification: Small—1.8". Above: FW and HW pale brown, somewhat darker toward the body especially on the FW. Each wing has a row of black submarginal eyespots, larger on the HW. Below: FW and HW pale brown with narrow, jagged, dark-brown lines crossing both wings; especially note an inward-pointing notch on the HW basal line. On Appalachian Brown these lines are less irregular and the basal line lacks the notch.

NJ Status and Distribution: Resident. Primarily a northern species that has recently been reported from several sites in Sussex County, mostly in the Wallkill drainage basin. Formerly more widespread, including some southern counties.

NJ Range Map-Eyed Brown

Habitat: Large, open, marshes dominated by sedges. Usually not found in wet woods, which is the preferred habitat of Appalachian Brown.

Flight Period: One brood. Early June to late July. Extreme dates: 6/4—7/31.

Larval Food Plants: Sedges (Carex, Scirpus).

Overwintering Stage: Larva.

Best Locations: Appalachian Trail Lands, Wallkill River NWR.

Comments: In Northwestern NJ, where both species of brown are known to occur, individuals seen in the middle of large wet meadows are probably this species. Browns seen where wet woods and meadows overlap could be either species, whereas individuals seen in wet woods are almost certainly Appalachian. Given the overlap in habitat and spatial and temporal distribution, it would not be surprising if occasional hybridization occurs resulting in some individuals displaying characteristics of both species. Since eyed Brown is very much the rarer of the two species, photos of suspected individuals in new locations should be sent to the NABA-North Jersey Butterfly Club.

Eyed Brown

Appalachian Trail Lands, Vernon, Sussex Co., NJ, 6/27/09.

Eyed Brown

Appalachian Trail Lands, Vernon, Sussex Co., NJ, 6/16/04.