Northern Pearly Eye Butterfly

Northern Pearly Eye Butterfly
Enodia anthedon

Northern Pearly Eye Butterfly 1000

Northern Pearly Eye Butterfly

I came across a tree sap party one day in late June 2004. There were a dozen or more Northern Pearly-eyes and Little Wood Satyrs all clustering on one pin oak tree that was oozing sap at several locations. That sap was like catnip for those butterflies. They kept coming and going and jockeying for position, it was really a sight to see. The Northern Pearly Eye has only recently been determined a species in its own right. The larva feed on forest grasses instead of the cane favored by the more southern Pearly Eye.

Little Wood Satyr

Little Wood Satyr (above) at tree sap party

The Northern Pearly Eye is confined to forests and their borders. It tolerates more shade than most other butterflies. And, unlike most other butterflies, it is not attracted to flowers, preferring tree sap, carrion and scat for its nutritional needs. It often perches on tree trunks, leaves and bushes, often gathering in groups alongside little wood satyrs (below), which they closely resemble.

tree sap party

Northern pearly-eyes can’t get enough sap!

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