Common Buckeye, Junonia coenia
Nymphalideae or Brushfoot Family


Medium-sized butterfly, to about 3 inches wide. Wings brown above. Forewings with large white stripe, two small orange stripes, and purplish eyespots. Hindwings with geometic edging, and orange band, and a pair of purplish eyespots, the upper one larger. Underside of forwing mirrors upper; underside of hindwing brown. Several generations are born each summer and their appearance varies with season. The autumnal forms, called the Rosa form, are rosy red beneath, instead of brown (lower row of pictures). Adult is fond of nectar from plants in the sunflower family.

Larva beginning pupation

Caterpillar up to almost two inches long. Variable in coloration, but mostly black with white and/or orange markings on the sides. Has blue-black spines on the sides, arising from orange bases. Feast on leaves of members of the plantain family, including the genus Plantago. The caterpillar at left is beginning the process of turning into a pupa, of which one is seen at right.

One of our most beautiful native butterflies. Favors open areas with low vegetation and some bare ground. They are reported to be resident north to North Carolina, but they migrate north each spring to colonize most of the U.S. and southern Canada. We would be among the first areas colonized. Abundant in the Park some years, especially in the South Meadow.

Rosa form, below Rosa form, below Rosa form, lower hindwings

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