T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Meadow argus (Junonia villida)

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Nymphalidae
Genus: Junonia
Species: J. villida
Binomial name: Junonia villida
Common name: Meadow argus

Junonia villida (Meadow argus) is a butterfly commonly found in Australia but it is only a casual visitor to New Zealand.
The Meadow argus has two brownish wings, each covered with two distinctive black and blue eyespots as well as white and orange marks that appear on the edge of the wings. The eyespots are a defence mechanism that are not only used to frighten predators away, but also to confuse the predators into thinking that the eyespots are the target, allowing the butterfly to escape with only a small part of the wing being lost. The undersides of the wings are mainly unmarked, except the lower part of the fore wing has similar markings as the upper side. The wingspan measures 4 centimetres in males and 4.3 centimetres in females.
As the butterfly rests, it can sit in four different positions depending on the current situation.
These positions include: 
If the sun is shining, the butterfly will open and relax its wings
If danger approaches while in the sunlight the butterfly will open its wings further revealing eyespots on its hindwings.
If the sun is not shining the butterfly will close its wings.
If danger approaches while there is no sunlight the butterfly will raise its frontwings revealing hidden eyespots. (Wikipedia)



The underside of the wing.