Thursday, April 5, 2012

Saxon-Norman-Broad, Wilkes County, Georgia: Southern Pearly Eye (Lethe [Enodia] portlandia)

March 23rd, 2012. We had a few hours. The weather wasn’t great but we felt like getting out. So we drove one of the back roads in Wilkes County, Georgia. We drove out to Lexington on US-78 and turned north on GA-77 to the road marked as the Saxon-Mattox Road. It’s the last road before the Broad River crossing. This road runs from Saxon to Norman and then to Broad. On DeLorme’s Georgia Atlas & Gazetteer, the road begins as Goose Pond Road and then becomes CR-113 to Norman. The section from Norman to Broad is Norman Rd NE. We didn’t really expect to see much but we were really in for a pleasant surprise. This road runs roughly parallel to the Broad River through dry pine and deciduous forests. Periodically the road dips to cross creeks that drain into the Broad River.

We saw several butterflies down in the creek bottoms. Duskywings and a small blue (Azure?) one. None of them was interested in posing for a photograph. But then I spotted one of my favorites…

Southern Pearly Eye (Lethe portlandia). It’s a ‘woodland’ butterfly. I first spotted this one by its movement when it landed on the leaves. I would have missed it otherwise. I crept towards it and it stayed put. It was a bit of a challenge to photograph it because it blended into the background.

It flew a little ways away and settled again. I was able to creep up again and hold my camera out at arms length to get this shot. It’s a handsome butterfly. Note, also, that it’s sitting on Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans).

I’ve seen them is in the woods near the creek behind our house and in the woods in the Broad River WMA.
It's not a flashy butterfly but delicate shades of brown.

According to the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), the genus name Enodia is invalid; the species has been assigned to the genus Lethe.

Click on an image to view a larger image

Identification resources:

- Michael Beohm, West Central Georgia Butterflies: Southern Pearly-eye (Enodia portlandia)

- Bug Guide: Southern Pearly-eye (Lethe portlandia)

Related posts:

- Southern Pearly Eye (Enodia portlandia)

- Southern Pearly-Eye (Enodia portlandia)

- Saxon-Norman-Broad, Wilkes County, Georgia: Prostrate Blue Violet, Green-and-gold & Trumpet Honeysuckle

- Saxon-Norman-Broad, Wilkes County, Georgia: Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica)

- Saxon-Norman-Broad, Wilkes County, Georgia: Luna Moth (Actias luna)

- Saxon-Norman-Broad, Wilkes County, Georgia: Down In The Creek Bottom

- Saxon-Norman-Broad, Wilkes County, Georgia: Rue Anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides)

- Saxon-Norman-Broad, Wilkes County, Georgia: Dixie reindeer lichen, Eastern Redbud & Atlantic Blue-eyed Grass(?)

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