Friday, August 23, 2013

What I Know about Buckeye Butterflies

When I went to the wild end of the farm today, Buckeyes were everywhere. I stopped my Mule and just sat until they settled enough to get a few pics. Most were blurred.

Good view of a Gulf Frit, blurry Buckeye.

Buckey with wings closed
Buckeye on Lantana.

There were many buckeyes fluttering around the stems of Agalinis.
I've seen Buckeye caterpillars on toadflax and on snapdragons.
This time of year adult Buckeyes are wild for Agalinis, false snapdragon.
Agalinis bloom will coincide with the emerging of many of these larvae into adults.
We see several broods of Buckeyes every year. Some adults stay over through the winter and some larvae will overwinter to hatch in spring.
A sidelight of my butterfly tour was seeing the limesink underwater. There is a limesink hole about 5 feet across and maybe that deep just in front of the tree to the left, identified by the green weeds growing in it. The dark area around it is water, so the limesink is holding water. Right now everything is holding water, including the ruts where the tractor ran.  This is as close as I dared.
Last year Agalinis grew where the pond had dried up. This year there are drifts of it everywhere.
The rest of the pics are of caterpillars on Agalinis.

My pics of very young instars were too blurry to see.
The small early caterpillars are orange in color, the near ready to eclose look as if they're wearing black and white plaid jackets.


I'll leave you with a Buckeye on Tithonia in my Front Garden.


  1. After this past month, I understand why you have learned to identify the butterflies...I have started to do it too. Sometimes, I try to figure out which is a moth and which is a butterfly. In the end, I decide..does it matter? I haven't seen a buckeye yet but now I know what it is.

  2. Buckeyes are among my favorite butterflies. The eyespots on their wings have intrigued me since I was young and read about them in my Golden Guide to Insects. I wish I still had that book.

  3. Your Buckeye photos are lovely! It is sad how many photos I have to take before getting a good shot, especially if I am trying to capture butterflies! Seeing the butterflies must have given you a real joy, knowing your place is a refuge for such beautiful creatures.

  4. I love buckeye butterflies, but I didn't know the caterpillar, so thanks for including that shot and definition. The gulf frit is pretty, too. I haven't seen as many butterflies this year. I'm hoping when things start to cool off they will become more abundant.

  5. These pictures are all just stunning! I love the Buckeyes.

    We still have no butterflies here.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.