Crimson Patch (Chlosyne janais)
Whether you visit the extensive butterfly garden at La Guacima, go mountain biking on the sunny, scenic Pacific slope, or visit one of the national parks, you are bound to see this common, pretty, butterfly species in Costa Rica.
The Crimson Patch is a small butterfly with broad wings, the upperwings being slightly pointed and the lower wings rounded; a shape that most people associate with their idea of what a “typical” butterfly looks like. Belonging to a group of butterflies often called Checkerspots because of the small white spots in their wings, the Crimson Patch can be identified by the prominent, red patch found on each of its lower wings. The wings are held closed when feeding or resting, the red patches appearing orange on the undersides of the wings. Although there are a few similar looking species in Costa Rica, the Crimson Patch is the most common of these and this the one most likely to be seen.
Behavior in Costa Rica
The Crimson Patch is typically seen as it flutters along close to the ground in open, brushy areas in search of flower nectar. It is also frequently seen in groups that take salts from moist sand. Although this species will come to most gardens, it is especially attracted to Acanthus species plants. This is because like all butterfly species, the larvae are associated with and adapted to eating certain plant species, various species of Acanthus shrubs acting as host plants for the Crimson Patch.
Habitat and distribution in Costa Rica
In Costa Rica, the Crimson Patch is a common butterfly of open, brushy areas that have an abundance of flowering plants. They are also common visitors to gardens and should be seen around most Costa Rican hotels. It occurs in both dry and humid regions of Costa Rica from the lowlands to areas of cloud forest.