The Bordered Patch, scientifically known as Chlosyne lacinia, is an attention-grabbing butterfly species native to North and Central America.
These fascinating creatures are well known for their striking wing patterns, featuring colorful patches of orange, yellow, and red surrounded by darker borders, which make them easily identifiable and popular among both casual observers and avid butterfly enthusiasts.
The habitat of these butterflies ranges from Southwestern United States to Central America, and they are most commonly found in open, sunlit areas such as meadows, gardens, and forest clearings.
They are known to feed on nectar from various wildflowers, including sunflowers and milkweed, which adds to their appeal for many gardeners who wish to attract these vibrant pollinators.
Bordered Patch: Identification
Wingspan and Color
The Bordered Patch is a beautiful butterfly belonging to the Nymphalidae family and Nymphalinae subfamily.
These butterflies have a wingspan of about 1.5 to 2 inches. Their colors range from mainly orange and brown patterns, with some variations.
Here are some characteristic identifying features of these butterflies:
- Orange base with brown borders
- Subtle white spots near the wing edges
A distinguishing feature of the Bordered Patch butterfly is the presence of white bands and bumps on its wings. These include:
- White bands on forewings
- Small, white bumps on the hindwings
Chlosyne Lacinia Species
The scientific name for the Bordered Patch butterfly is Chlosyne lacinia. Some characteristics of this species are:
- Found in the southern United States, Central America, and South America
- Prefers open habitats like meadows, fields, and garden areas
- Larval food plants include species from the sunflower family
Here is a comparison table of the Bordered Patch with a related species, the Painted Lady:
|Feature||Bordered Patch||Painted Lady|
|Wingspan||1.5 – 2 inches||2 – 2.9 inches|
|Base Color||Orange||Orange and brown|
|White Markings||Bands on forewings, bumps on hindwings||None|
|Larval Food Plant||Sunflower family species||Thistles, mallows, etc.|
The Bordered Patch’s unique features make it an interesting and eye-catching butterfly to observe and appreciate.
The Bordered Patch caterpillar is found in various habitats, such as meadows and urban areas.
These caterpillars are known for their colorful appearance and are typically found in Texas within the USA. Some characteristics of this life stage are:
- Colorful appearance
- Active during daylight hours
Bordered Patch caterpillars and butterflies rely on specific plants for survival. Some of these plants include sunflowers, mistflowers, and Cowpen daisies.
These nectar sources are abundant in southwestern America.
The Bordered Patch, Chlosyne lacinia, is a captivating butterfly native to North and Central America, celebrated for its vibrant wing patterns.
Thriving in open, sunlit areas, these butterflies are drawn to wildflowers like sunflowers and milkweed, making them a gardener’s delight.
Their unique appearance, characterized by colorful patches surrounded by darker borders, sets them apart, making them a favorite among butterfly enthusiasts.
Their lifecycle, from caterpillar to butterfly, and their relationship with specific plants, highlights the intricate balance of nature.
Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about bordered patches.
Scroll down to have a look at some of them.
Letter 1 – Bordered Patch
Would like information regarding how to identify this butterfly
I know you are extremely busy with the fast approaching school year (maybe it’s started already in your area, like here in Texas). I have searched several butterfly web sites and am unable to find a match for this butterfly. I live in Collin County, Texas, about 30 miles north of Dallas, and I first saw this butterfly in late August.
It likes my zexmenia bushes — althought it is not feeding on the flowers, but lighting on the leaves themselves. I was wondering if it could be laying eggs. Small to medium sized black caterpillars with an orange stripe down their back are having a feast on about a dozen of my zexmenia bushes right now and have been busy for about a week.
They look a little smaller than the Gulf Fritillary caterpillars on my passion vines. This is the first year I’ve had this caterpillar, and the first time I’ve seen these butterflies. They are fast moving and larger than Pearl Crescents but a little smaller than the Painted Ladies. If you do not have time to identify this butterfly, could you offer some other web sites that might do this?
I love your web site, and this is the first time I’m “Asking the Bugman”. I’ve had my butterfly garden for 10 years now, and it amazes me that there’s always something new happening in it. I’m surprised I can’t find this one in my butterfly guides, and I’m thinking maybe with this goofy weather it may be out of it’s normal range. Thanks for your assistance!
Jackie Patrick, a WTB fan
These are very nice photos of the Bordered Patch, Chlosyne lacinia, a highly variable species. We got our first submitted photo of a Bordered Patch last week, also from Texas. The caterpillars you describe sound like the images posted for this species on BugGuide.
Letter 2 – Bordered Patch
Can you identify this butterfly for me
Can you possibly identify this butterfly for me? I took this picture in Fort Worth, Texas at the botanical gardens. It was taken on August 26, 2007. I would like to know what it is. Thank you,
Your butterfly is a very highly variable species known as the Bordered Patch, Chlosyne lacinia.
Letter 3 – Bordered Patch
Subject: Is this a Bordered Patch Butterfly?
Location: Coryell County, Texas
October 4, 2013 4:48 pm
Hello, many insects enjoyed puddling today. Is this a bordered patch? I couldn’t get very close to it. Lovely butterfly.
The last time we posted a photo of a Bordered Patch, Chlosyne lacinia, was in 2007, so it is wonderful to have your recent sighting documented on our site. Thank you so much for sending both an open and closed wing view.
BugGuide indicates the common name Naranjita, meaning “Little Orange” in Spanish, and we suppose this is due it it being a common species in Mexico.
Letter 4 – Bordered Patch Butterfly from Brazil is called Naranjita
Subject: orange and black butterfly
Location: Pantanal, Mato Grosso Brazil
September 28, 2014 8:48 pm
taken in August 2014
Signature: Robert Siegel, MD, PhD
We initially thought that because of the pronounced labial palps, that this might be a Snout Butterfly in the subfamily Libytheinae, but we could find no similar looking members of the subfamily from Brazil in our initial search. While we cannot confirm the subfamily at this time, we are confident that the Brushfooted Butterfly family Nymphalidae is correct.
We could not locate a match on Insetologia, our sister site from Brazil, nor did we have any luck on the Butterflies of Amazon & Andes. Finally, we believe we found a match in the Bordered Patch, Chlosyne lacinia, which according to the Butterflies in Brazil and Argentina at Iguazu Falls during Focus On Nature Tours site, is called the Naranjita and “has a very variable pattern. It prefers sunny places and feeds on nectar”.
The site also states: “the Bordered Patch, the subspecies Chlosyne lacinia saundersi This subspecies, in southeast Brazil and the Iguazu area, has more orange in the upperwings than other subspecies, hence the common name there of ‘Naranjita’. “ Now that we had a name, we did locate the Bordered Patch on the Butterflies of Amazon & Andes where it states:
“Males are usually seen either when nectaring at Asteraceae, or when imbibing mineralised moisture from patches of damp ground. Females when freshly emerged are so heavily laden with eggs that they are barely capable of flying.” We have examples of the Bordered Patch from North America in our archives.
Dear Daniel –
You have come through for me again.
I told my class about the ID as well.
I will post another straight away.
Or is it better to email you directly?
All the best, Bob
Robert David Siegel, M.D., Ph.D.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Program in Human Biology, Center for African Studies, and Woods Institute for the Environment
Please send any new submissions using our standard form at Ask What’s That Bug?