Common Buckeye

Junonia coenia

The Common Buckeye is not a common butterfly in Wisconsin, but as an immigrant from farther south, it makes it to Wisconsin on a fairly regular basis and is always a pleasure to see. In an article about immigrant butterflies in Wisconsin from 1987 to 2001 in News of the Lepidopterists’ Society, Ann Swengel noted that she had seen this species in Wisconsin 13 of the 15 years, but only saw 210 individuals.

Weekly sightings for Common Buckeye

Identifying characteristics

Above, the Common Buckeye is a brownish butterfly with two orange bars near the leading edge of the forewing, a white band on the forewing, and large eyespots that make identifying this butterfly in Wisconsin very easy. Below, this species is much paler, especially on the hindwing, and sometimes the large eyespot is partially hidden. The orange and white bars are similar to the forewings above, but the eyespots on the hindwing are much reduced.

Similar species

None in Wisconsin.


Open, dry fields, roadsides, trails, and waste areas.


This species may be double brooded in Wisconsin, especially when the immigrants arrive in the state in early May. I usually see this species in late June and early July, but the first image here was taken on August 29.


Not an abundant butterfly in Wisconsin; you are unlikely to see more than a few individuals of this species in a day.


Map showing sighting locations for Common Buckeye
Map key
Common BuckeyeClick to enlarge

Buena Vista Marsh, Portage Co., WI. August 29, 1999.

Common BuckeyeClick to enlarge

Winter form

DNR land off Dearborn Ave., Marquette Co., WI. October 7, 2007.

Common BuckeyeClick to enlarge

Plainfield TriCounty School Forest, Waushara Co., WI. July 24, 1999.

Common BuckeyeClick to enlarge

Waumandee Creek Farm, Buffalo Co., WI. July 15, 2005.