The Common Buckeye is not “common” in Michigan in the sense of numerous, but I usually see one or more each year in Eliza Howell Park in Detroit
And it is definitely not “common” in the sense of uninteresting or ordinary. Seeing one is always a special occasion.
The Common Buckeye is called “common” as a way of distinguishing it from two other buckeye species that are found near the southern border of the U.S.: Tropical Buckeye and Mangrove Buckeye. The eyespots apparently reminded someone of deer eyes, resulting in the “buckeye” name.
Common Buckeye, with a wingspan of about 2 1/2 inches, is a butterfly of open habitat, found most often in fields and clearings.
In our area, Common Buckeye is a migrant, arriving here in the sunmer and heading south in the fall. The best time to look for them in Eliza Howell is from late July through September.
(The lighter color green on the map indicates locations where it is uncommon.)
It is often on or near the ground.
My favorite observations are the occasions when they cone to the wildflower patches.
(This individual has the battered and torn look that many buttereflies exhibit after a period of time.)
Based on my photos of the Common Buckeye in Eliza Howell Park, only a few have blue between the two orange bars on the leading edge of the wings. I admit, however, that I rarely check for that; I am so taken by the overall appearance that the details do not seem to matter. This is definitely one of my favorites butterflies of Eliza Howell.
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