Butterflies of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance

Common Name begins with:
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Scientific Name begins with:
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Once on a species account page, clicking on the "View PDF" link will show the flight data for that species, for each of the three regions of the state.
Other information, such as high counts and earliest/latest dates, can also been seen on the PDF page.

Related Species in NYMPHALIDAE:
<<       >>
Common NameCommon Buckeye by Nancy Baldwin => Gaston Co., 9-06
[View PDF]
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[Google Images]     BoA [Images ]
Scientific NameJunonia coenia
Link to BAMONA species account.
MapClick on a county for list of all database records for the species in that county.
DistributionDISTRIBUTION: Statewide, occurring in every county. Ranges onto the Outer Banks, and probably to the higher mountains (though perhaps not a breeder at high elevations).
AbundanceABUNDANCE: Very common in the Coastal Plain; common to very common in the eastern and southern Piedmont; fairly common to common in the upper Piedmont; fairly common in the mountains. The species appears to be partly migratory, with an increase in butterflies from August to October. Over 50 individuals can be seen in a day in Coastal Plain and Piedmont counties in the fall.
FlightFLIGHT PERIOD: Several broods (at least three); the species has a continuous presence in NC from mid-March to mid-December. Abundance increases in August, remaining very numerous well into October; a few can be seen on warm winter days.
HabitatHABITAT: Open country; very widespread in fields, roadsides, lawns, gardens, vacant lots, dunes, savannas, and other places with low growth. It is not typically found near woodlands, but it is often common in powerline clearings through forests.
See also Habitat Account for General Successional Fields and Forblands
PlantsFOOD AND NECTAR PLANTS: A wide variety of herbaceous plantains (Plantago spp.) and "scrophs" (Scrophulariaceae); probably also species in the Ruellia family (Acanthaceae). Species of gerardias (Agalinis spp.) are commonly used, and caterpillars are conspicuous and easily found on these plants in the fall season. Nectar plants are very widespread, but the species typically nectars on low-growing herbs such as clovers (Trifolium spp.); adults also sip moisture and minerals along bare ground.
CommentsCOMMENTS: This species typically keeps low to the ground, and frequently perches on bare ground, sand, and dirt. It also nectars on clovers, frogfruits (Phyla spp.), and other flowers within a few inches of the ground. It is perhaps the most common "large" butterfly around lawns and roadsides, thereby making it one of the most familiar butterflies to North Carolinians.
State RankS5
State Status
Global RankG5
Federal Status
Other NameNorthern Buckeye

Links to other butterfly galleries: [Cook] [Lynch] [Pippen] [Pugh]
Photo Gallery for Common Buckeye
Photo by: Newman, Randy
Comment: mated pair @ Fort Macon State Park, Carteret Co.; 2003-June-23
Common Buckeye - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Tom Howard
Comment: Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Preserve, Moore Co.; Cat fed and pupated (2002-Sep-17) on <i>Aureolaria pedicularia</i>.
Common Buckeye - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Roger Rittmaster
Comment: Fall form, Durham Co.
Common Buckeye - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Roger Rittmaster
Comment: Durham Co.
Common Buckeye - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Lori Arent
Comment: 2020-09-15. Wake Co.
Common Buckeye - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Joe Lafferty
Comment: 2014-10-27. Brunswick Co.
Common Buckeye - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Mark Shields
Comment: 2019-09-20. Onslow Co.
Common Buckeye - Click to enlarge