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Field and Swamp: Animals and Their Habitats

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Home  >>  Butterflies  >>  Brushfoot Butterflies  >>  True Brushfoots  >>  Buckeyes

Common Buckeyes (Junonia coenia)

Buckeyes, along with  Ladies CrescentsCheckerspots, and Anglewings, and are  members of the "True" Brushfoot (Nymphalinae) sub-family and the Brushfoot (Nymphalidae) family.

Most buckeyes in the US are Common Buckeyes (Junonia coenia).  But there are two other species, the Tropical Buckeye (Junonia genoveva) and the Mangrove Buckeye (Junonia evarete), and some experts suspect there are more.  Some butterflies in southern Texas and Florida, and maybe even along the Gulf coast, are not obviously Common Buckeyes.  The Buckeyes in North Carolina are most likely all Common Buckeyes, but some farthest south show some differences, probably mostly wear.

Common Buckeye caterpillar, Duke Gardens, 7/24/05 Common Buckeye caterpillar, Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC, 9/17/08.  I saw dozens of them in one field, feeding on the leaves of tall grass plants.  ID thanks to Jeff Pippen.


Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia), Mason Farm Biological Reserve, NC, 8/12/11 Common Buckeye, Carolina Beach State Park, New Hanover County, NC, 8/12/11


Mating Common Buckeyes, Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC, 8/24/05. Same butterflies.

These buckeyes appeared in late October and November and showed mostly subtle signs of wear, especially around the forewing eyespots.

Durham, 10/17/05.  This buckeye had met with an unknown mishap, but could still fly competently. Ft. Fisher Basin Trail, 10/18/05. Mason Farm Biological Reserve, 10/23/05 Mason Farm Biological Reserve, 10/23/05.  Maybe there's some fading here. NC Botanical Garden, Orange County, NC, 10/30/05 11/17/04 Fort Fisher Basin Trail, New Hanover County, NC        


10/11/04, Buccaneer State Park, Waveland, MS

Ventral views of mostly North Carolina Common Buckeyes 

These change with the time of year in a way that differs with location, but essentially go from beige in the summer to chocolate-brown in late fall. 

Common Buckeye, Durham, 5/6/06.  Lighter, but no eyespots on hind wing. Common Buckeye: Duke Gardens, Durham, NC, 7/10/03.  Relatively early in the year, very light color, conspicuous eyespots. Common Buckeye: Durham, 7/26/04. Common Buckeye: 8/4/03, Durham.  Summer form: light hind wing with eyespots.  Somewhat worn.


Durham, 9/2/05 Durham, 9/6/05.  You can see the dorsal pattern through the wing in this ventral view. Carolina Beach State Park, NC, 10/19/05 Freeman Park, Carolina Beach, NC, 10/19/05 Common Buckeye: Durham, 11/11/03: Fall form: dark hind wing without eyespots.

10/11/04, ventral view of Waveland, MS buckeye above.  This far south, it's still showing a summer pattern.

© Copyright 2005 Dorothy E. Pugh