Common Buckeye

Junonia coenia

Summary 5

The Common Buckeye or simply, Buckeye, (Junonia coenia) is a butterfly in the family Nymphalidae, subfamily Nymphalinae. Common Buckeyes move northward as the season progresses and are usually scarce in the northern part of their range. Buckeyes are often found perching on bare ground. The similar Mangrove Buckeye (Junonia genoveva) also has been observed at the GTM. This species and its relatives were placed formerly in the genus Precis.

Description 6

Upperside is brown. Forewing with 2 orange cell bars and 2 eyespots; part of white subapical band appears in the largest, lower eyespot. Hind wing has 2 eyespots; upper one is largest and contains a magenta crescent. Underside of hind wing is brown or tan in the wet season (summer) form and rose-red in the dry season (fall) form.

Larva Description 6

Larva is highly variable in color, but usually mostly black above and white and/or orange along sides with metallic blue-black dorsal spines. Spines along sides arise from orange wart-like bases. Head orange above with black bordering frons; short black scolus over each lobe; heavily salted with white tubercles.

Larval host plants 5

Larvae are solitary and feed on the foliage, flowers, and fruits of the host plant. A variety of (typically) herbaceous plants are used, including especially plants in the snapdragon family (Scrophulariaceae). These include snapdragon (Antirrhinum), toadflax (Linaria), and Gerardia. Larvae also feed on plants of the plantain family, such as Plantago; and the Acanthus family including ruellia (Ruellia nodiflora). Larvae feed singly.

GTM Occurrence 6

The Common Buckeye is considered a common species at the GTM. Most observations are in the open habitat along Transect A. Only a few observations have been made along the forest Transects with Transect C having the most individuals. This species occurs throughout the year with peak abundance from October to January. Buckeye is present, but in low numbers from May to September. There have been 528 specimens observed as of December 28, 2015.

Distribution 7

This species occurs in southern Canada east of Saskatchawan, and throughout the United States except for Montana, Idaho, Washington, and western Wyoming. Resident throughout the southern United States. Migrates northward to Oregon, Ontario, New England. From there it ranges south and east to Bermuda, the Bahamas, Cuba, nearly all of Mexico except southern Baja California.

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native )

Other Geographic Terms: island endemic

Habitat 8

Junonia coenia tends to like more open areas such as fields, parks, pastures, meadows, and coastal dunes. You can also find them along roadsides and in other disturbed, weedy places. They are often near their food plants, and may also feed or drink around mud puddles. Not in forest but does occur and breed in wooded edges, savannas etc.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; tropical ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: desert or dune ; chaparral ; scrub forest

Other Habitat Features: urban ; suburban ; agricultural

Nature serve conservation status 9

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Reasons: Widespread in south and west; adapts to disturbance.

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Bill Bumgarner, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-ND),
  2. (c) John Flannery, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA),
  3. (c) Dan Mullen, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-ND),
  4. (c) gtmresearchreserve, all rights reserved, uploaded by GTMResearchReserve,
  5. Adapted by GTMResearchReserve from a work by (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA),
  6. (c) GTMResearchReserve, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)
  7. (c) The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA),
  8. (c) The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA),
  9. (c) NatureServe, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),

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