Menu

Floridata Article

Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

Buckeye butterfly
Habitat: Scrub, sandhills, beaches and open, disturbed areas such as utility easements, old fields, meadows, pastures, and fallow agricultural land Garden Abundance: Moderate Wingspan: 1.8 to 2.5 in Larval Host Plants: False foxglove (Agalinis spp.), plantain (Plantago spp.), toadflax (Linaria canadensis), Indian paintbrush (Castillejia spp.) and twinflower (Dyschoriste spp.). Favorite Adult Nectar Sources: Frogfruit (Phyla nodiflora), purpletop verbena (Verbena bonariensis), wild heliotrope (Heliotropium amplexicaule), and lantana (Lantana camara).

Exceedingly fond of open places, the buckeye is found in vacant lots, pastures, old fields, backyard gardens and along roadsides. Although generally very abundant, the buckeye is not an easy butterfly to observe. When approached, it often takes off in a rapid, low, zigzag flight, only to quickly return and alight at a increasingly greater distance from its would-be viewer.

The buckeye establishes summer breeding colonies throughout most of the U.S., but is unable to survive the sub-freezing winter temperatures in the north. As a result, buckeyes engage in a massive southward migration each fall and overwinter at lower latitudes, including Florida.

The unmistakable bright colors and large eyespots adorning the upper surface of the buckeye’s wings serve to startle curious predators and also to deflect attacks away from the vulnerable head and body. In stark contrast, its wings beneath have reduced pattern elements and are colored in muted shades of brown to rose. This overall “dead leaf” appearance helps to camouflage the butterfly while at rest.

Buckeye caterpillars feed on a wide range of different host plants. The caterpillars are black and white with orange spots on the sides and covered with branched spines.

Butterfly Gallery Menu Butterfly Gallery

Master Plant List

Click here to find plants in our Encyclopedia using the Master Plant List grid. Use this widget to search, sort and filter Floridata's plant database to easily locate Plant Profile pages. Use the dropdown menus to filter the grid to display items matching the selected Plant Type and Feature tags.

Plant Type Tags

tree icon
shrub icon
palm
perennial plant icon
aquatic plant icon
cactus and succulents icon
grass icon
vine icon

Feature Tags

Attracts Birds
Attracts butterflies
Attracts Hummingbirds
Edible Plants
Cutting and Arranging
medicinal
for pots and containers
indoors
shade
drought tolerant plants
grows in wet soils
flowers
ornamental fruits
fall color
foliage plants
evergreen
easy to grow plants
fast growing

Site Search

Use Google to search all of the pages on Floridata including the Plant Profile pages

New! Plant Profiles



Copyright 2015 Floridata.com LLC