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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Dazzling


Buckeye (Junonia coenia), photographed along Bay Flat Road at the north end of Bodega Harbor on 6 October 2012. 

Although not as common in the fog belt (Shapiro and Manolis 2007), this handsome butterfly is occasionally seen on warm days in the late summer and fall.

The large eyepots on the upper surface of the forewings and hindwings are very distinctive.  According to Shapiro and Manolis (2007), "The eyespots are believed to dazzle and distract predators."

The lower surface is quite different — mottled with pale browns, oranges, and grays (see below).  When Buckeyes hold their wings up, they're very well camouflaged.


Did you notice that the two orange bars at the leading edge of the forewings are visible from above and below?  

Okay, I'll admit it.  I was looking for something orange tonight to celebrate the SF Giants' Game 5 win and advance to the NLCS!


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