The bright orange-brown patch on the underside of the forewing, marked with two large eyes, distinguished this butterfly. Swiftly it flies and dodges among thickets and light woods from Florida and the Gulf States north to New Jersey and Missouri. It grades into the Blue-eyed Grayling on the north, so that the two are probably actually one species. But the Southern Wood Nymph is the brighter colored of the two and its large eyes must be staring enough to frighten many a bird in some southern woodland.
The smooth green caterpillar is striped with faint golden yellow lines and lives on grasses. The chrysalid looks like a small metallic green sack, hanging to the side of some grass stem.
“Fluttering like some vain, painted butterfly,
From glade to glade along the forest path.”
Arnold, Light of Asia