Common Buckeye Junonia coenia

Now that is a butterfly. The British have a butterfly called a Peacock that is a stunner. This is the closest we have to that animal though they still have us beat I believe. (Hello to Tim.) Stare into this wingspread long though and you'll miss lunch and dinner. In most of the east it is alone in this appearance. In Florida and Texas they have some look-alike Buckeyes.

These guys like open areas. They land on the ground or low plants mostly. They cruise their selected road or levee or bare patch and chase everything off that comes including dogs and dragonflies. Tolerates humans. Hard not to like them.

See through shot of the Common.

Nice close up of the spots. And this shows the variability of the posterior orange border.

Variable within reason. This is a 2011 version from Bell Slough.

Should you happen to peer beneath one then you can witness the reddish tones of the fresh hindwing exterior. These don't often perch wings-up otherwise.

And the caterpillar on English Plaintain here. Also eats Snapdragon, Toadflax and Gerardia.

Mangrove Buckeye Junonia evarete

Should be compared with the open Common above. Note the darker colors and the reduced hind wing spots. Found only in Florida.

Norm's late season 2007 Buckeye that is definitely atypical. The question is whether this is the first documentation of a Tropical Buckeye in Arkansas. I admit I have been unable to find definite separation features for the upper wings by looking at comparison photos. Bob Barber believes this is a Tropical. Should be compared with the open Commons above.

Norm kept sending these to an expert who kept paying attention and felt this one was even better for Tropical genes. It remains undecided.