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Common Buckeye Butterfly
Common Buckeye Butterfly Common Buckeye Butterfly  
Top - Kim Hosen, Occoquan National Wildlife Refuge, Woodbridge, VA;
Bottom left - Kim Hosen, Dove's Landing, September 2007
Center - Kim Hosen, Merrimac Farm, August 2008

Common Buckeye
Juonia coenia
Wingspan: 1 5/8 – 2 3/4 inches

Prominent eyespots against a brown background distinguish the medium-sized Common Buckeye from all other species in our region. The largest eyespot, located on the upper hindwing, has a magenta center.

Look for Buckeyes resting open-winged on the ground in fields, disturbed areas, or sandy areas along coasts. This tropical species migrates north into the region in the late summer, its numbers varying widely from year to year.

Buckeye caterpillars feed on plants from the snapdragon family (Scrophulariaceae), such as gerardias and toadflax, and plantain (Plantago).