Junonia coenia

Buckeye Butterfly, Junonia coenia, photo © by Mike Plagens

March 8, 2009. Apache Trail, Maricopa Co., Arizona, USA.

Nymphalidae -- Brush-footed Butterfly Family

last instar larva (or caterpillar) of Common Buckeye, photo © Michael Plagens

This easily recognizable butterfly is medium sized (wingspan approx 4 to 8 cm i.e., highly variable), has two large eyespots on the hind wing, one large eyespot on the forewing, plus a smaller eyespot also on the forewing. The caterpillars are usually dark brown or black and feed on a variety of plants, especially those in the snapdragon family.

Within Sycamore Woodland Galleries, Buckeyes favor open spots near moist soil where one of its most frequent hostplants, Seep Monkey Flower (Mimulus guttatus) flourishes. Only occasionally do adult butterflies take nectar from flowers, whereas damp, partially saline soil is very attractive.

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Arizona Naturalist
Sycamore Canyons
Invertebrates in Arizona's Sycamore Canyons


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2010