Thursday, January 24, 2013

Common Buckeye Butterfly


Common Buckeye ButterflyCommon Buckeye Butterfly or simply Buckeye is a butterfly in the family Nymphalidae. It is found in southern Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia and all parts of the United States except the northwest, and is especially common in the south, the California coast, and throughout Central America and Colombia. The sub-species of Junonia coenia bergi is endemic on the island of Bermuda. Its habitat is open areas with low vegetation and some bare ground. This species and its relatives were formerly placed in the genus Precis. 


Scientific classification
Kingdom:     Animalia
Phylum:     Arthropoda
Class:     Insecta
Order:     Lepidoptera
Family:     Nymphalidae
Genus:     Junonia
Species:     J. coenia

This butterfly is a beautiful creature that is a must-have in all butterfly gardens. It is a beautiful chestnut brown with 6 bright colors of the eye spots. These small butterflies are fast, energetic flyers that are entertaining to watch as they flutter near the ground. Common Buckeye Butterfly can be difficult to see when hiding because they are very well camouflaged as they folded up their wings, as a dull brown leaf. Luckily, more often than not will be in the sun to show off their colors. 


The first broods are born in the southern United States and migrate north. Each subsequent generation will migrate to the north to reach the northern most part of their range, which includes the Great Lake States. These are a beautiful butterfly marked with shades of brown, yellow, orange and brown. The eyespots are probably the most spectacular thing about these butterflies. The eyespots are shades of orange, brown and purple ringed with black or brown. Probably the eyespots are present to deter potential predators. They are not a large butterfly, with only a wingspan of up to 2 3/4 inch, but what they lack in size they more than make good color and human tolerance. These beauties are almost always easily approachable and will often land on us to lick up perspiration. 


Adults feed on nectar and to take fluids from mud and wet sand. Men perch on bare ground or low plants, occasionally patrol looking for women, but they are not territorial. The female lays eggs separately on buttons or the upper side of the leaves. The caterpillars are solitary and feed on the leaves, flowers and fruits of the host plant. A variety of (mostly) herbaceous plants are used, including in particular plants in the Snapdragon Family (Scrophulariaceae). These include Snapdragon, Toadflax and Gerardia. Caterpillars eat plants of the plantain family, such as Plantago, and the Acanthus family, including ruellia. Larvae live separately. Adults and some larvae overwinter in southern areas. The doll can not have a resting stage, as in many other butterflies. 


The bold pattern of eyespots and white bars on the upper wing surface is distinctive in a large part of its range, but to compare related species in the same sex. The eyespots are likely to frighten or distract predators, especially young birds. Common Buckeye Butterfly has many flights throughout the year, especially with the migration north for the summer. Much of the northern United States is only colonized from the south in the fall of the population. Some of the later broods to move south in autumn. Often Buckeyes exhibit seasonal polyphenism, the summer version of the butterfly is light yellowish ventral wings and is called "linea". The Fall ventral morph has pink wings, and the "rosa" morph.

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