Tropical Buckeye (Junonia genoveva [Stoll])
Wing span: 1 3/4 - 2 1/4 inches (4.5 - 5.7 cm).
Identification: Upperside is brown; wide forewing band is white diffused with brown or orange; large eyespot is edged with brown internally. Lower eyespot on forewing and upper eyespot on hindwing are about the same size. Underside of hindwing is brown; median band is fairly straight. Form nigrosuffusa is very dark brown; forewing band is dark orange or lacking.
Life history: Males perch all day on flat-topped vegetation or on the ground to watch for receptive females. Eggs are laid singly on the host plant; caterpillars are solitary and eat leaves.
Flight: Three to four broods from March-October, adults overwinter from October-March.
Caterpillar hosts: Stemodia, lippia, ruellia, and porterweed.
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Open tropical lowlands including fields, brushlands, sandy islands.
Range: Southern New Mexico, southern Arizona, South Texas, and southern Florida south through the West Indies, Mexico, and Central America to Argentina. Rare wanderer to southeastern California, southeastern Colorado, and central Florida.
Comments: The eyespots are used to frighten predators.
Conservation: Not usually required.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management needs: None reported.
Opler, P. A. and V. Malikul. 1992. A field guide to eastern butterflies. Peterson field guide #4. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston. 396 pages, 48 color plates. Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates. Tilden, J. W. 1986. A field guide to western butterflies. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. 370 pages, 23 color plates.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann
State and Regional References:
Opler, Paul A. 1999. Peterson Field Guide to Western Butterflies, revised edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western USA Butterflies. Privately published, Denver, Colo.