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Species Junonia coenia - Common Buckeye

Common Buckeye - Junonia coenia - male Junonia coenia - female Junonia coenia - female Buckeye - Junonia coenia - female Buckeye - Junonia coenia - female Common buckeye - Junonia coenia Caterpillar - Junonia coenia
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Papilionoidea (Butterflies (excluding skippers))
Family Nymphalidae (Brushfooted Butterflies)
Subfamily Nymphalinae (Crescents, Checkerspots, Anglewings, etc.)
Tribe Junoniini
Genus Junonia (Buckeyes)
Species coenia (Common Buckeye)
Explanation of Names
Probably from koinos (κοινος)- "common"
Size
39-68mm (1)
Larva to 45mm (2)
Identification
Upperside is brown. Forewing with 2 orange cell bars and 2 eyespots; part of white subapical band appears in the largest, lower eyespot. Hindwing has 2 eyespots; upper one is largest and contains a magenta crescent. Underside of hindwing is brown or tan in the wet season (summer) form and rose-red in the dry season (fall) form.(2)

Caterpillar 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"(2)
Range
Resident in the southern United States and north along the coasts to central California and North Carolina; south to Bermuda, Cuba, Isle of Pines, and southern Mexico. Adults from the south's first brood migrate north in late spring and summer to temporarily colonize most of the United States and parts of southern Canada.(2)
Habitat
Open, sunny areas with low vegetation and some bare ground.(2)
Season
Two to three broods from May-October, throughout the year in the Deep South.(2)
Food
Caterpillar hosts: Plants from the snapdragon family including snapdragon (Antirrhinum), toadflax (Linaria), and Gerardia; the plantain family including plantains (Plantago); and the acanthus family including ruellia (Ruellia nodiflora).

Adult food: Favorite nectar sources are composites including aster, chickory, gumweed, knapweed, and tickseed sunflower. Dogbane, peppermint, and other flowers are also visited.(2)
Life Cycle
Males perch during the day on low plants or bare ground to watch for females, flying periodically to patrol or to chase other flying insects. Females lay eggs singly on leaf buds or on upperside of host plant leaves. Caterpillars are solitary and eat leaves. Caterpillars and adults overwinter but only in the south.(2)
Print References
Opler, pp. 273-274, plate 23 (1)
Works Cited
1.A Field Guide to Eastern Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides)
Paul A. Opler, Vichai Malikul, Roger Tory Peterson. 1992. Houghton Mifflin Company.
2.Caterpillars of Eastern North America
David L. Wagner. 2005. Princeton University Press.