| Home | Warning | Gear | Books | Photography | Hikes | Links | Flora & Fauna | Etiquette | About Me | What's New |



Common Buckeye Butterfly

Natural History

The Common Buckeye Butterfly has a wingspan of 2 - 2.5 inches in width and is brown overall in color. The butterfly's forewing has 2 orange cell bars and 2 eyespots, the largest (and lower) of which is contained in a white band.  The hindwing also has 2 eyespots; the upper one is largest and contains a magenta crescent. The underside of the hindwing is brown or tan in the wet season (summer) form and rose-red in the dry season (fall) form.

It is thought that the eyespots of the Common Buckeye Butterfly may be used to scare away predators.

The Common Buckeye Butterfly prefers open, sunny areas with low vegetation and some bare ground. Males perch during the day to watch for females, flying periodically to patrol or to chase other flying insects. Females lay eggs singly on leaf buds or on the upperside of host plant leaves upon which the caterpillar feeds (including plants from the snapdragon, plantain and acanthus families). Adult butterflies live for about 10 days. The Common Buckeye is found throughout the southern United States and north along the coasts to central California and North Carolina; as well as south to Bermuda, Cuba, and southern Mexico.

Back to Flora & Fauna