Deciphering Butterflies: Genus Lethe
These two butterflies are very similar in size, shape and coloration but under close observation can be easily identified.
General Appearance – Medium sized butterfly, 1 1/2 – 2 7/16 inches, rather uniformly light brown.
Range – Most of the state (in colonies) north of the Platte River in riparian areas and wetlands. Absent from the northeast.
Status – Can be common when located.
Dorsal – Forewing more uniformly light brown than the Northern Pearly Eye with all four black spots clearly visible.
Ventral – Forewing eyespots touching or nearly so; outer dark line is zigzagged at the base of the hindwing.
Eyed Brown species page
General Appearance – Medium sized butterfly, 1 3/4 – 2 5/8 inches, generally slightly larger than Eyed Browns, mottled to uniformly light brown.
Range – Absent from the panhandle and southwest but can be found elsewhere in open woodlands and woodland borders.
Status – Occasional, rarely more than a handful of individuals.
Dorsal – Slightly more mottled than the Eyed Brown. The third spot from the bottom on the forewing is reduced or absent.
Ventral – Also more mottled in appearance than the Eyed Brown with the outermost dark line on the hindwing sinuous but not obviously toothed.
Northern Pearly Eye species page