The Northern Pearly-eye is a woodland species that is rarely found in open areas. It has a swift, erratic flight that often ends with it perched, head down, aside from a sunlit tree. The Northern Pearly-eye is covered in a shimmering grey-brown, and the topside of this butterfly’s wings is decorated with a simple mahogany brown ribbing and bordered by a series of round eye-like spots. The antenna club is black with an orange tip, distinguishing it from the Southern Pearly-eye.


Northern Pearly-eye” by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren, licensed under (CC BY 2.0)


Northern Pearly-eye Facts

Butterfly Family: Brush-footed Butterflies (Nymphalidae)

Butterfly Subfamily: Satyrinae

Butterfly Wingspan: 1 3/4 – 2 5/8 inches

Butterfly Habitat: Damp deciduous woods, usually near marshes or waterways; mixed or grassy woodlands


Northern Pearly-eye Host and Nectar Plants

Host Plants:

  • Various types of grass
  • White Grass
  • Bearded Shorthusk
  • Plume Grass
  • River Oats
  • Bottlebrush

Nectar Plants:

  • Fungi
  • Willow Tree Sap
  • Poplar Tree Sap
  • Birch Tree Sap