New York Natural Heritage Program
Northern Metalmark
Calephelis borealis (Grote and Robinson, 1866)

Identifying Characteristics [-]
The adult is unmistakable in New York, but is very similar to several species belonging to the same genus occuring in other states. The larva is similar to the Little Metalmark (Calephelis virginiensis), illustrated by Wagner (2005), but it would occur on or under the foodplant, roundleaf ragwort (Packera obovata). There are numerous other hairy white caterpillars, but the details for Northern Metalmark differ substantially and an experienced Lepidopterist could confirm a mature larva to genus based on Wagner's (2005) illustration and text. In New York, the genus identification of a larva along with the foodplant would confirm the species.

Characters Most Useful for Identification [-]
Note the metallic silver markings on the top of the wings and the orange underside. There are no similar species in New York. The illustration of the larva and the adult in Wagner (2005) of the related Calephelis virginiensis would suffice to recognize northern metalmark in and near New York.

Best Life Stage for Proper Identification [-]
Identification will usually be as an adult, but larvae or photos of them can be identified by an experienced Lepidopterist. The larva would be on or under the foodplant, roundleaf ragwort, however, there are other hairy white caterpillars that use the same plant.

Behavior [-]
Adults perch on underside of leaves of shrubs or small trees. They are most often seen perched in sunny spots or on flowers. They will move short distances from their main habitats to obtain nectar and perhaps for other reasons.

Diet [-]
The larvae eat the leaves of roundleaf ragwort (Packera obovata). The adults take nectar from a variety of flowers.
Northern Metalmark Images
click to enlarge
The Best Time to See
In New York, this species has a flight period of about three weeks beginning in late June or July.
Present Reproducing Larvae present and active Pupae or prepupae present
The time of year you would expect to find Northern Metalmark present (red shading), reproducing (blue shading), larvae present and active (green shading) and pupae or prepupae present (orange shading) in New York.