Santa Barbara Field Guides – Butterflies|
wingspread 1.5-2.25 in.|
Recognition: At first glance it could appear a little boring, but one good look at this Buckeye reveals it to be anything but common; stunning purple and pink eyepots stand out on margins of FW and HW; two small orange/red bands are clearly marked on leading FW edges.
Flight period: All year in southern California, and March to November in more northern locales.
Hostplants: Buckeye larvae use monkeyflower (Mimulus species), snapdragon (Antirrhinum species), and plantains (Plantago species), all Scrophulariaceae.
Habitat: Common in a variety of natural and semiurban habitats, including grasslands, chaparral, old fields and roadsides; very common along our sunny, foothill trails.
Distribution: The Common Buckeye ranges over most of the southern U.S. and Mexico.
Other: As with many other butterflies, including the Monarch, the Common Buckeye expands its range northward in warmer months, retreating to the south in the fall. In the field, Buckeyes sun themselves with their wings open, giving an observer a perfect view of their unique coloring.