Bermuda Buckeye Butterfly (Junonia coenia bergi)

 

The Buckeye Butterfly (Junonia coenia) is a migratory butterfly found in North America. The Bermuda Buckeye Butterfly is an endemic sub-species (Junonia coenia bergi) that is only found in Bermuda. It is Bermuda's only endemic butterfly.

Identification

The Buckeye Butterfly is mostly light olive-brown. Its forewings have yellowish white marks at the tip enclosing 1 large eyespot towards the hind margin with a second small eyespot towards the wing tip, and 2 red chevrons in the discal cell. Its hind wings have 1 large and 1 small eyespot.   The underside of the hindwing is brown or tan in the summer and rose-red in the autumn. The typical wingspan is 1 5/8 to 2 3/4 inches (4.2 - 7 cm).

The caterpillar is generally furry, black and about 2 inches (5 cm) long. 

Habitat

The Bermuda Buckeye prefers open, sunny areas with low vegetation and some bare ground.

Season

The adults fly all year round.

Food

The Buckeye caterpillar feeds on Plantain (Plantago sp.) and Capeweed (Lippia nodiflora), both common weeds in most Bermudian lawns.  While the butterfly visits various flowers that provide nectar sources.

Life Cycle

The female Buckeye butterfly lays eggs singly on leaf buds or on the upperside of the leaves of its host plant; the Plantain. The Buckeye usually produces 2 or more generations a year.

Buckeye Butterfly Life Cycle Graphic [Printable PDF]

Remarks

The Bermuda Buckeye can be attracted to the garden by allowing Plantain and Capeweed to grow in unmown areas of lawn.

 

Bermuda Biodiversity Project Species Profile for the Buckeye Butterfly