The Monarch vs. the Common Buckeye

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The Monarch

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The Buckeye

Along the Monterey Coast monarch butterflies rule in terms of media coverage. Every year there are reports of this butterfly’s passage through Pacific Grove on its way to Mexico while nary a mention of the common buckeye. I happen to think the markings and coloring of the buckeye are spectacular, the work of a true artist. Opinion?

Buckeye Continued…

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I “rushed” to read up on the buckeye butterfly like the one clinging to my brick wall(photo below). Was it laying eggs? Meditating? No, it was dying. The adult lives a mere 10 days—compare that to the Monarch which can go for years. As shown in this photo, the buckeye had moved about six inches and had become stuck in an old cobweb—no spiders around. Its wings were tattered. When I approached, it would move slightly. Due to its large size, I assumed it was a female. Should I free it if, in fact, I could do this without killing it? Or, should I leave it alone? I soon discovered it had died of natural causes.buckeye back

The Not So Rare Buckeye Butterfly

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Yesterday in Monterey County I spotted my first Buckeye Butterfly…almost stepped on it. I’d never seen one before but a quick internet search says that the Junonia Coenia is an “extremely common species.” Excuse me. Mr./Mrs. Epidopterist, I thought it was a rare find. I’m still pumped, regardless.