1-1 1/4" (25-32 mm). Dingy orange-brown above with wide central dark band bisecting both wings; has relatively indistinct but uninterrupted line of metallic marks. Below, light yellow-orange, often flushed with red, has lead-gray spotting. Fringes slightly checkered.
Swamp Metalmark brighter reddish above, has less checkered fringes. Little Metalmark smaller, with much more rust above, wings more rounded.
Caterpillar stout, whitish-green with black spots on back, and long plumelike hair on back and sides; eats ragwort (Senecio obovatus); overwinters in leaf litter when 2/3 grown.
1 brood; late June-early August.
Dry, open woods and hilly meadows, especially shale and limestone outcroppings.
S. New York and N. New Jersey to Virginia and Kentucky in Appalachians, west through Ohio to Indiana and Missouri.
The Northern Metalmark is largely geographically and ecologically isolated from the Swamp Metalmark, although they may overlap in the upper Midwest. Fond of drier habitats, Northern Metalmarks occur in widely dispersed, local, sparse colonies. Like many metalmarks, they land on the undersurfaces of leaves, with wings held out flat.