Rusty-tipped Page (Siproeta epaphus)
While traveling the curvy roads of Costa Rica through such mountainous, humid forest areas as Braulio Carrillo National Park, the route to La Fortuna that passes near Juan Castro Blanco National Park, and roads around Monteverde, there is a very good chance that you will notice this bold, easy to see species as it feeds on roadside flowers.
The Rusty-tipped Page is one of the easiest butterflies to identify in Costa Rica. No other large butterfly species in Costa Rica shows the distinct, broad, dark brown wings with a prominent white stripe, and broad rusty tips. The other Page species in Costa Rica, the Superb Page, has a similar pattern but lacks the rusty tips to its wings.
Behavior in Costa Rica
The Rusty-tipped Page is typically seen fluttering on its large, broad wings a few feet off the ground as it searches for flowers that grow along roadsides and other forest edge habitats. Like several other species of butterfly in Costa Rica, the Rusty-tipped Page is an elevational migrant in the northwestern part of the country. When its food sources become unavailable during the dry season, this species moves upslope to moister, evergreen areas to take advantage of the humid habitat for breeding and laying its eggs. With the onset of the rainy season, it moves back downslope into Guanacaste. For this reason, this is one of many species that benefits from national parks of the northwest such as Guanacaste and Santa Rosa.
Habitat and distribution in Costa Rica
A butterfly whose natural niches include edge habitats of humid forest such as landslides and treefall gaps, the Rusty-tipped Page has adapted to utilizing a similar human-made edge habitat; roadsides. It has also become adapted to taking nectar from Impatiant flowers, an introduced plant species. This is a butterfly is distributed in middle elevation humid forests throughout the country.