A garden is the best alternative therapy.

Common Buckeye Butterfly

B.eneficial I.nsect F.iles Spotlight: Common Buckeye Butterfly

The common Buckeye butterfly (junonia coenia) is a butterfly seen frequently across most of the United States, Central America and even some areas of Canada.   Buckeyes belong to the butterfly family,  nymphalidae, better known as brush-footed or four-footed butterflies.   This family also includes such species as the Monarch, Red Admiral, Fritillaries, and Emperors.  This species is easy to distinguish because of the colorful “eyespots” on both sides of the wings as well as the light-colored bars on the tips of the forewings.

Buckeye markings were most likely developed to serve as a warning to predators like birds.  They are also “seasonally polyphenic”, meaning their coloration/pigmentation varies slightly across several generations throughout the year.  This allows them to camouflage themselves easily depending upon the season.   In the summer, adults display a light yellow linea on the forewings, while autumn adults display a pink linea.  Presumably, this coloration change allows them to blend in better as foliage changes colors going into fall.

Like other butterflies, buckeye’s perform a wonderful service to nature by being an efficient pollinator of many types of flowering plants.   Buckeyes love just about any plant of the snapdragon family, but also feed heavily on verbena, milkweed, aster and coreopsis.   Host plants include verbena, snapdragon and ruellia (also known as wild petunias).


Comments on: "Common Buckeye Butterfly" (1)

  1. I was researching for my urban potager and noticed your lovely pictures of this butterfly. I want to implement more natives into my garden. I have many at this moment, but noticed some of our gardens needs to be reworked-lol. Beautiful pics:-) I had a picture of this lovely butterfly one fall , and did not know it’s name. Thank you for posting this information. I feel your blog “values” are very similar to what we are trying to do in Zone midwest…:-)

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