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Common buckeye (Junonia coenia) - This butterfly is found throughout much of the United States. The bold eyespots in the forewing and two eyespots in the hind wings make this butterfly a favorite among photographers. Within San Diego County it has at least two flight seasons from early spring into late summer or sometimes early fall depending on what elevation it is found. The caterpillars prefer plantain, snapdragons and monkeyflower. The adults can usually be found along hiking trails resting on the ground with their wings spread sunning themselves. They will aggressively defend their territory from any intruder, including humans. They will show a low flying rapid wing beat with a glide when patrolling its territory and then immediately land back on the ground with its wings spread and sunning themselves. This is a butterfly that is always enjoyable to look at, especially when it defends its territory. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Michael Klein

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