common buckeye

(Junonia coenia)

Conservation Status
common buckeye
Photo by Wayne Perala
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNRB - Unranked Breeding

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Common buckeye is a medium-sized to large brushfooted butterfly. It has a wingspan of 1 to 2¾. The summer form is larger and brighter orange, the winter form is paler and has smaller black marks.

The forewing has an elongated, squared off tip (apex). The upperside of the forewing is brown with two orange bars with black borders on the forewing cell; a subapical white band; a large eyespot that is completely surrounded by the subapical white band; a small eyespot in the apical area; a submarginal orange spot near the inner margin; and usually 1 to 4 submarginal spots in the apical area. Both forewing eyespots have a blue pupil and are outlined with a pale yellow band and a diffuse dark brown line.

The upperside of the hindwing is brown with a white fringe; two beige marginal bands with dark borders; a submarginal orange band; a large postmedian eyespot near the leading margin; and a small postmedian eyespot near the inner margin. Both hindwing eyespots have a colored crescent at the top of the black center and are surrounded by a pale yellow band and a thin black line. The crescent of the smaller spot is blue, that of the larger crescent is magenta grading to blue.

The underside of both wings of the summer form is light brown with faint markings mirroring those on the upper surface. The winter form is similar but reddish-brown and with less distinct markings.

The caterpillar is up to 1¾ long and is highly variable in color. Though fierce looking, they are harmless to the touch. The head is orange with black bordering the triangular frontal area (frons); two short, black, spiny, branched projections (scoli); and numerous small, white, wart-like projections (tubercles) with black, bristle-like hairs (seta). The thorax and abdomen are usually mostly black on the upper (dorsal) surface with a pair of pale narrow stripes bordering a black middorsal stripe. The sides are white, orange, or white and orange. The third thoracic segment and each abdominal segment have seven black scoli. The middorsal and subdorsal scoli have blue bases, the rest have orange bases. The scoli on the first thoracic segment are pale with black branches. The leg-like projections on the abdomen (prolegs) are orange.

Mature caterpillars are found from July onward.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: 1

Wingspan: 1¾ to 2

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
  No similar species in Minnesota.  
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Fields, pastures, roadsides, parks, and other open areas with low vegetation and some bare ground.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Two or three broods from late June to late September.

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

Caterpillars are solitary feeders.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

The male perches on the ground or low vegetation waiting for a receptive female, or practically anything else, to pass by. After mating, the female lays her eggs singly on leaf buds and the upperside of host plant leaves. The larva molts four times before pupating. There are two generations each year. The last generation adult migrates south in early October, overwinters in a warmer area, and returns north in mid-June or late June.

 
     
 

Larva Hosts

 
 

Leaves, flowers, and fruits of mostly plants in the Plantaginaceae (plantain) and Scrophulariaceae (snapdragon) families.

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Flower nectar from aster (Symphyotrichum spp.), chicory (Cichorium intybus), dogbane (Apocynum spp.), curly-cup gumweed (Grindelia squarrosa), knapweed (Centaurea spp.), peppermint (Mentha x piperita), coreopsis (Coreopsis spp.), and other plants.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 20, 21, 24, 29, 71.

 
  10/25/2017      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Rare

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)  
 

Suborder

Glossata  
 

Infraorder

Neolepidoptera  
  Parvorder Heteroneura  
  No Rank Ditrysia  
  No Rank Obtectomera  
 

Superfamily

Papilionoidea (butterflies [excluding skippers])  
 

Family

Nymphalidae (brush-foots)  
 

Subfamily

Nymphalinae (true brushfoots)  
 

Tribe

Junoniini  
 

Genus

Junonia  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

buckeye

common buckeye

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Proleg

A fleshy structure on the abdomen of some insect larvae that functions as a leg, but lacks the five segments of a true insect leg.

 

Pupa

The life stage of some insects undergoing transformation. In caterpillars, the chrysalis.

 

Scolus

A spiny, branched projection from a larval body wall, the branches terminating with a single stiff, hair-like or bristle-like tip.

 

Seta

A usually rigid bristle- or hair-like structure on butterflies and moths used to sense touch. Plural: setae.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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Wayne Perala

 
    common buckeye      
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
    common buckeye   common buckeye  
           
    common buckeye   common buckeye  
           
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Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
Junonia coenia (Common Buckeye)
Allen Chartier
  Junonia coenia (Common Buckeye)  
Common Buckeye on native aster
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
  Common Buckeye on native aster  
Common Buckeye
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
  Common Buckeye  
Buckeye
jt893x
  Buckeye  
     

 

slideshow

       
 
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Other Videos
 
  Common Buckeye - September 7, 2013
Don Gagnon
 
   
 
About

Published on Sep 11, 2013

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia), Mass Audubon Allens Pond, Westport, Massachusetts, Saturday morning, September 7, 2013, 11:27 AM - Canon PowerShot SX50 HS MVI_45571; 11 sec.

 
  Buckeye Butterfly.
MrILoveTheAnts
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Sep 27, 2011

Junonia coenia, Common Buckeye, is a butterfly that can't survive cold winters. Even the caterpillars die after the first frost. Naturally it's up to members from subtropical and tropical parts of the world to repopulate their norther range each year.

 
  Junonia coenia
Zach DuFran
 
   
 
About

Published on Oct 11, 2013

Caterpillar having a bit of lunch

 
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
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  Wayne Perala
6/22/2020

Location: Maplewood State Park

common buckeye  
           
 
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