I caught this specimen also on August 9th. Our beautiful Buckeye is a real "dandy" for a common species. The amount of purple + pink within the eyespots varies as well as the orange fringe skirting the eyespots. Quite honestly, I would love to fill a drawer with this species. But, I have to tell you that when it comes to wild collecting these; fresh ones like this are few and far between. They are very active butterflies so their colors and wings do get trashed fairly quickly. Their are one to two broods present in my state (Illinois) depending on whether you live in the Northern half of the state or the Southern half. It is a butterfly of farm and field. It likes open sunny spaces. Suburbia is not a place you will likely find it unless you happen to perhaps have an old railway line somewhere near your home. There, on occasion one or two may be seen due to the associated weeds along the track line. I felt compelled to post this species as a thread because I have always thought of it as one of our dandy little treasures of the Eastern U.S.
Here is a small series of mostly choice examples of America's Buckeye butterfly. These are the only good ones that I collected this past summer. Last year I only got 3... Where this species is found it can be at times common and yet at other times limited in number. I think weather conditions and good or bad food plant suitability has a lot to do with it's numbers. I have found this species tough to get in good condition as wild captured. It is very alert to its surroundings and anything coming within its defined territory is chased after or at least investigated. They also sun themselves a lot with wings spread so any movement or shadows cast near them sends them up and away... I absolutely love this species as they vary considerably in the amounts of certain colors and banding. Also, their eyespots can be huge and full of purple/pink shading. I could probably fill a drawer with 40 or 50 of these (and may do so someday); but they are just so elusive to catch and tough to get un-damaged ones of !
Normally, I don't keep "chippers" like the female at the bottom however, she is in otherwise ex-pupa condition and is a shade larger than all my others...
That's a great series! As a kid I dreamed of catching these, but I think I lived too far north. Here's in DRC we have a number of Junonia species which are equally variable... but nothing matches these eyespots.
I remember only finding this species once as a kid and once again later in my late teens. The very urban setting of my youth simply was not the setting for this butterfly. In fact, the same stretch of old railroad tracks was were I picked up those early specimens. I never saw any others. It would be many years for me before I would encounter the species again in limited numbers; after having moved to suburbia. Have seen more in the last 10 years than all years previous as I am now within close proximity of farm and field situations !
Tom, I found only one specimen here 50 km south west of Toronto. They are definitely not common, maybe in some years when they migrate from south. In Thailand there are few Junonias and my favour one is definitely J.orithya.
I truly love Juonia, I have about every species occurring in Thailand and China and I probably over collected them. I still haven’t spread them but once I do, I’m sure I’m gonna have a few box worth’s.
Here is a photograph showings some of the "subtle" variation occurring in this marvelous little butterfly. Note the varying sizes of the eyespots as well as the amounts of purple/pink present. Also, notice the varying extent of the orange margining which may or may not wrap around the eyespots. A terrific butterfly to make a series (or drawer) of when possible...
I only saw twice this species in Southern Ontario and secured one female specimen but I have some specimens of this genus from South America and Asia that I collected. I always liked them for being simple but beautiful butterflies of Nymphalinae subfamily.
Hey Paul, I really like that phrase "simple but beautiful butterflies". That really says it all... Even though, in many sorted places the species may be common; it's another thing to get good ones in great shape.
These fellows are very active territorial butterflies. They are ever alert in their behavior so they never sit for very long. They seem to get damaged in no time at all due to their flighty nature.
Last summer, for the first time (in quite a while) I was right on a 1st or 2nd day hatch of this species. However, at the same time and in the same field I had 4 species of Papilio's available to me (and they too were in great shape) ! My time unfortunately, was short that day and so a choice had to be made. Focus on Papilio's or... just on Buckeyes. Well, the swallowtails won that decision. I still got 4 pristine Buckeyes but, that was all.
Post by larrycurlymoe on Jun 28, 2020 16:09:19 GMT
Buckeyes are very attractive butterflies indeed. It surprises me that they are uncommon in northern parts of the US. They are so common where I live (TX) that I don't bother to collect them, despite their beauty. I have about a dozen specimens in my collection, collected long ago, but I could easily collect hundreds in a single weekend. There is another Junonia species(evarete)in my area that is relatively rare, but darker & less attractive. J. genoveva, the mangrove buckeye, lives in FL and has similar coloration. I have also seen pictures of "blue buckeyes" (J. coenia with extreme amounts of blue) that are real gems. I wish I had some of those.
Post by larrycurlymoe on Jun 28, 2020 21:46:33 GMT
Trehopr, Not sure, but I think most of the blue buckeyes are the result of selective breeding. I have a couple of pictures of them but I'm unable to post them to this website. If you'd like to see them, send your email address to my message box & I'll email the pictures to you.