Crimson Patch (Chlosyne janais [Drury])
Wing span: 1 7/8 - 2 5/8 inches (4.8 - 6.7 cm).
Identification: Upper and lower sides of forewing are black with small white spots. Upper hindwing is black with large orange-red patch on the basal half. Lower side of hindwing has an orange-red postmedian band that does not extend to margins of the wing.
Life history: Eggs are laid in groups under host plant leaves. Caterpillars feed on the undersides of leaves; younger caterpillars feed gregariously.
Flight: Several broods in South Texas from July-November, all year in the tropics.
Caterpillar hosts: Scrubby plants in the acanthus family (Acanthaceae) including Anisacanthus wrightii in Texas.
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Lowland tropical forest edges and fields.
Range: Colombia north through Central America and Mexico to South Texas. Strays to north Texas and southeastern New Mexico.
Conservation: Not necessary for sporadic resident.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management needs: Provide host plant patches in refuges and parks along the lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas.
Opler, P. A. and V. Malikul. 1992. A field guide to eastern butterflies. Peterson field guide #4. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston. 396 pages, 48 color plates. Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann
State and Regional References:
Opler, Paul A. 1999. Peterson Field Guide to Western Butterflies, revised edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western USA Butterflies. Privately published, Denver, Colo.