Saturday, September 21, 2013

Buckeyes and American Painted Ladies in the Meadow

The butterflies are here, but more evident are their larvae.

BuckeyeJunonia coenia
The meadows are full of Agalinis and the plants are full of caterpillars.

American Painted Lady pupae on Rabbit Tobacco

American Painted Lady Vanessa virginiensis
The name was shortened to 'American Lady' but the butterfly is the same.

Both the American Lady and the Buckeye are Brushfoot butterflies. The host plants shown are only some of the plants Brushfoot caterpillars use for food.


  1. Beautiful butterflies! Butterflies always make me smile. I haven't seen enough of them this year.

  2. You just reminded me that I haven't seen any Buckeye butterflies this year in the Buckeye state. They usually show up as my sedum Autumn Joy blooms, but so far, nothing. Hmmm.

  3. Jean, I'm glad that you made this post. Back in May, I got a snapshot of what looks to be the same type of butterfly - I thought that it was a moth. It was large, almost like a luna moth, but the coloring and markings are almost the same. Perhaps I'll post it tomorrow and you can tell me if it's a Painted Lady!

  4. Great photos!

    I am beginning to hear from various sources about our lack of butterflies.
    Pesticides, herbicides and GMO crops are being blamed. Something surely has happened. I am still seeing scads of cabbage butterflies but very few others.

  5. Is that Mexican sunflower they are on?

  6. Thanks, Deb and Deborah and Robin.

    I don't know, Glenda. There are fields all around us where chemicals are spewed out of airplanes and who knows what they plant. We try to maintain buffers.

    The Buckeye is on wild Lantana. The American Painted Lady is on Mexican Sunflower, yes. That particular picture was just handy when I realized it would be sensible to include pics of the butterflies that grow from the larvae I was posting.

    There is a patch of Tithonia in the pasture south of the house that I believe the seed might have washed there during heavy rains. I will let it reseed unless it becomes a thug. There is no Tithonia in the wild meadows on the north end. I try not to introduce non-natives there.


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

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