Costa Rican Butterflies
June 22, 2010
Dear Bugman,
I recently went on an educational trip to Costa Rica. While there, I saw many different species of butterflies but, now that i’m home, i haven’t been able to figure out the species or even what type of butterflies i had seen. This is a major issue considering the fact that i now must do a project on the different invertebrates i saw while there! The first one was spotted in my shower at a hotel in Arenal. It was hanging from the ceiling and the tear drop shaped “tails” were slightly metalic. I would estimate that it was around 3-4 inches across. The second, was spotted in Tortuguero. it was very small, only about 1.5 inches across and flew rather quickly. And the third we saw in a Butterfly garden. There were several that kept landing on us and they were about… 2 inches across. Thanks so much for your help!
Amanda K.
Costa Rica (Arenal, Tortuguero)

Cattleheart Butterfly

Ed. Note:
We did not respond a second time to Amanda after identifying her Eyetail Moth, but we wanted to post her photo of a Cattleheart Butterfly in the genus Paredes as well.  Cattlehearts are in the Swallowtail family and they frequently appear in butterfly pavilions.  This might not even be a species native to Costa Rica.  It resembles the drawing of the Green Celled Cattleheart, Paredes childrenae, that can be found on the Costa Rica Butterflies Fold-Out Pocket Field Guide webpage.

Karl provides some information
Hi Daniel and Amanda:
It is indeed a Cattleheart in the genus Parides and there are several candidate species that are native to Costa Rica. The Butterflies of America site has an excellent selection of photos of the genus, including several that look very close but none that are an exact match. It could be a Wedge-spotted Cattleheart (Parides panares lycimenes) but I think it is more likely in the P. eurimedes group (P. eurimedes; P. e. mylotes; P. e. mycale; P. mylotes; P. arcas). There seems to be some taxonomic uncertainty here as various combinations of these names (and more) are variously given as species, subspecies or synonyms. It could be any of these if they are distinct, or perhaps a hybrid. The Area de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG) site has a near perfect match that it refers to as P. mylotes. Possible common names include True, Eurimedes or Mylotes Cattleheart. Regards.  Karl

3 Responses to Cattleheart Butterfly from Butterfly Pavilion in Costa Rica

  1. Nichole says:

    Umm I’m in class doing a research paper on the pink potted cattleheart. And I don’t think that it was apart of the cattleheart family I thing that it was a moth. Not a butterfly.

  2. jenn says:

    This is really interesting stuff I never knew. My twin is doing this thing about Costa Rica Butterflies with tissue paper and wire. She needs to know we’re the butterflies or located,lifespan,diet,and other interesting things.

    • bugman says:

      We are not certain what you are requesting from us. The Cattleheart Butterfly is found in Costa Rica. According to the Butterflies and Moths of North America: “Caterpillar Hosts: Pipevines (genus Aristolochia). Adult Food: Not reported.” We assume adults must have favorite flowering plants to take nectar from. Your twin should be able to find a wealth of information in our archives should she decide to do the research her project requires.

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