This Northern Metalmark is nectaring on a Black-eyed Susan flower. Black-eyed Susans and butterfly weed (orange milkweed) are favorite nectar plants for Northern Metalmarks. The caterpillar's host plant is round-leaf ragwort.
Northern Metalmarks have a very limited flight period. There is only one brood per year. They fly from late June to early July in our area.
Northern Metalmarks are an uncommon to rare species. They live in small, highly localized populations. I have found one such population in a specific spot at Cox Arboretum, but this is the only location where I have ever seen these butterflies.
Ventral view of a Northern Metalmark's orange wings. Most species of metalmarks are tropical butterflies. Ohio has only two species: the Northern Metalmark shown on this page, and the very rare Swamp Metalmark. The latter was once thought to be extirpated from Ohio but was later rediscovered.