Species Lethe eurydice - Eyed Brown - Hodges#4568.3
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Papilionoidea (Butterflies and Skippers)
Family Nymphalidae (Brush-footed Butterflies)
Subfamily Satyrinae (Satyrs, Morphos and Owls)
Tribe Satyrini (Alpines, Arctics, Nymphs and Satyrs)
Genus Lethe (Pearly-eyes, Tree Browns, etc.)
Species eurydice (Eyed Brown - Hodges#4568.3)
Two subspecies: S. e. eurydice and S. e. fumosus (Smoky Eyed Brown); only the nominate subspecies is found in Canada.
wingspan 38-62 mm, averaging 45 mm
Adult dorsal: pale brown with 4 submarginal eyespots on the forewing, and 6 on the hindwing. The spots are dark, slightly blurred, pale-bordered, and the lower ones on each wing sometimes have a small white center.
Adult ventral: pale brown with 4 submarginal eyespots on the forewing, and 6 on the hindwing. The spots are much more distinct and always have white centers (the lowest spot has 2). Forewing spots are roughly the same size, touch each other, and a white line encircles all at once. The postmedian line is zigzagged (as opposed to the gently curving line of the Appalachian Brown), and the line has a characteristic inward-pointing tooth.
Larva: green with a dark green dorsal stripe and alternating dark and light green lateral stripes, with green tails. The head is green with red horns and has a red line from the horn to the eyes.
Uncommon to locally common or abundant from Nova Scotia to Delaware, west to Colorado, north to eastern Alberta.
Wet areas such as open sedge meadows, open bogs, cattail marshes, and slow streams containing sedges.
Adults fly from June to September, with highest numbers in July.
Larvae feed on the leaves of sedges: Carex lacustris, C. atherodes, C. lupulina, C. bromoides, C. trichocarpa and C. rostrata. They are often reported to feed on Carex stricta, but in eastern Ontario and western Quebec, single-species stands of this sedge never have colonies of the Eyed Brown, which seems to prefer only broad-leafed sedges.
Adults feed on sap, bird droppings, and occasionally flower nectar.
Overwinters as a larva. One generation per year.
Even where large populations occur in extensive wet areas, the butterflies seldom stray any distance from the larval food plant (sedges). They have a slow weak flight, often alighting on the sedges.
Subspecies fumosus (Smoky Eyed Brown) is of concern in several states. It has The Nature Conservancy Global Rank of G3 - Very rare or local throughout its range or found locally in a restricted range.
In the Appalachian Brown
, the dark line on the underside is gently curved, not zigzagged. Also, the Appalachian Brown is not absolutely restricted to sedge patches, but wanders in small numbers throughout wooded areas, sometimes far from any wet area. Compare images of Eyed Brown
and Appalachian Brown
dorsal and ventral surfaces.
In the Northern Pearly-Eye
, the wing margins are slightly scalloped, and the second eyespot on the forewings is always much smaller (sometimes absent on the upperside). See image of Northern Pearly-Eye
Butterflies and Skippers of North America
pinned adult images, US distribution map, adult description, larval and adult food, habitat, flight season, habits, conservation (nearctica.com)
Butterflies of Canada
pinned adult image, adult and larva description, distribution, similar species, larval food plants, habitat, abundance, flight season, habits (CBIF)
Massachusetts Butterfly Club
live adult images and info pertaining to Massachusetts (NABA)