Medial Patch

Chlosyne eumeda (Godman & Salvin, 1894)

Return to Texas Entomology - Compiled by Mike Quinn

eu (G). Good, well
medi, -a, -o (L). The middle

Verso Photo

Starr Co., TX
6 km. w. of Sullivan City
22-X-1974 - McGuire

- First Confirmed U.S. Record -

Photo courtesy of Charles Bordelon, TLS.
Contact Texas Lepidoptera Survey for more information

Discussion of Chlosyne species (listed alphabetical) from South Texas and NE. Mexico

Subfamily Nymphalinae - Tribe Melitaeini

Chlosyne cyneas (Godman & Salvin, 1878) - Black Checkerspot

Recorded from Coahuila, but most northern records from Sonora and Chihuahua and southeastern Arizona. 

Chlosyne definita (E.M. Aaron, [1885]) - Definite Patch

Miller & Brown (1981) list the type locality as "inland from Corpus Christi. Texas." Largest south Texas population (at times in the 100s) is now south of Corpus Christi at the Dick Kleberg Park, Kingsville, Kleberg County. It is also present on the lomas (stabilized clay dunes) and Palo Alto Battlefield north of Brownsville. There is also a thriving colony in Franklin Mountains State Park of far west Texas. J.B. Lombardini (pers. comm., 2006) reports collecting C. definita on October 30, 2006, in the City of Lubbock. Doyle (2003) provides extensive life history information and notes that the Aaron brothers discovered this species in the early 1880's. It was found near the Nueces River on the north side of Corpus Christi, "by a ride of twenty-five miles in wagon."

Chlosyne ehrenbergii (Geyer, [1833]) - White-rayed Patch

Opler & Warren (2002) consider the record from Texas summarized by Kendall & McGuire (1984) to be "highly questionable." Kendall & McGuire (1984) in part write:

Higgins (1960) reported one example from "Texas" in the British Museum, no further data; he did not indicate the sex. We have no idea who the collector might have been, but presume it was collected toward the end on the 19th century. ... Buddleja, its larval foodplant, is found from the Rio Grande in Texas to Oaxaca, Mexico. Vázquez (1934) gave an excellent account of the life history.

On 28 February 1980, near Rioverde, San Luis Potosi, Roy and Connie Kendall collected ca. 160 last instar larvae and seven pupae on two small shrubs of Buddleja sessiliflora H. B. K. (found also along the Rio Grande in Cameron and Hidalgo Counties, Texas). All larvae present on the two shrubs were not collected.

Dorso-, verso- photos from Guanajuato, Mexico.

Chlosyne endeis (Godman & Salvin, 1894) - Banded Patch

Naturalist Howard George Lacey collected 1 male and 1 female (Kendall & Kendall. 1971), the much worn female was collected during May 1902 in Edwards Co. (Barnes & McDunnough 1913). In addition to this 2004 photo from near La Gloria, in northern Hidalgo Co., it was also reported in the LepSoc Season Summary from Duval and Starr Counties in 2004 and 2005. Martin Reid of San Antonio posted a note to the TX-Butterfly listserv about his finding five individuals in Duval County in April 2005. Also known from Willacy and Cameron Counties (Charles Bordelon, pers. comm., 2006). Underside photos from Sierra Picachos Mountains just south of the Rio Grande in Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

Chlosyne erodyle ( H.W. Bates, 1864) - Guatemalan Patch

Per Opler & Warren (2002): "Casually reported from Texas by Higgins (1960)." This record possibly originated with Edwards (1872), however Bauer (1975), Scott (1986) and Neck (1996), all report no authentic voucher specimen known for this species within our borders. Scott (1986) has a color photo of this species on plate 59. All Leps Barcode of Life Database (BoLD) has images of Chlosyne erodyle from the Area De Conservación Guanacaste (ACG), Costa Rica.

Chlosyne eumeda (Godman & Salvin, 1894) - Medial Patch

Bordelon & Knudson (2002) published a photograph (Plate 5, figs. 4, 5) of the above specimen as Chlosyne marina, form eumeda based on Scott (1986), however Neck (1996), Kons (2000), Opler & Warren (2002) Brock & Kaufman (2003), and Luis et al. (2003), and  all consider eumeda, melitaeoides and marina to be separate species. 

Texas Record:

The singular Texas Chlosyne eumeda record came to light after Mike Rickard of Houston donated a portion of his butterfly collection to the Texas Lepidoptera Survey collection also of Houston. (The rest of Rickard's collection was donated to the Roy O. and Connie A. Kendall Collection of Lepidoptera housed at the Texas A&M University Insect Collection.) It was a papered specimen that was only correctly identified when Ed Knudson spread it. (The label is written in Knudson's own hand.) 

Both Mike Rickard and Bill McGuire actively collect butterflies in the Rio Grande Valley in the early 1970's (McGuire & Rickard 1974, Kendall & McGuire 1984). They submitted a "most remarkable report" for the 1973 Lepidopterists' Society Season Summary that included an phenomenal 14 New U.S. Records plus one New State Record (Freeman 1974). Kendall & McGuire (1984) detail the dates and locations of each of the nearly two dozen specimens of Chlosyne melitaeoides that McGuire collected in Starr Co. October of 1973, 1974. (See discussion below.) The C. eumeda specimen was among the C. melitaeoides specimens that McGuire collected. Apparently it was assumed to be a variant of C. melitaeoides

The C. eumeda may have been overlooked among a long series of C. melitaeoides as this was a "papered" specimen, generally a butterfly placed in a glassine envelope (with wings folded up) at the time of collection. While C. eumeda and C. melitaeoides are distinctively different dorsally, ventrally C. eumeda and C. melitaeoides are more similar.

Arizona Records(?):

Scott (1986) lists the range of eumeda as "Ariz, and Pacific slope of Mex." However, Bailowitz & Brock (1991) in their thorough review of the southeastern Arizona butterfly fauna never mention eumeda, marina, nor melitaeoides. Opler & Warren (2002) include Chlosyne eumeda on their list of North American butterfly species with the following somewhat cryptic comment:

The report from Pima Co., Arizona, appears to be of the semi-desert species, eumeda; however, C. marina also occurs in Sonora, Mexico, in montane habitats.

Stewart et al. 2001 report (on page 364) Chlosyne marina as a stray to Arizona. However, in their online errata, they correct the identification of the butterfly pictured to Chlosyne eumeda and state that this species "is the one that has been recorded in Arizona." Rich Bailowitz (pers. comm., 2006) mentioned second hand, as yet unconfirmed, reports of C. eumeda from Pima County: Quitobaquito Hills, foothills of the Ajo Mountains, south end of the Baboquivaris and from La Paz County: Dripping Springs Hills.  

Chlosyne janais (Drury, 1782) - Crimson Patch

Generally present in the Rio Grande Valley. Perhaps first reported from "Texas" by Edwards (1872). Naturalist Howard George Lacey collected C. janais on June 27, 1899 in Bandera County (Kendall & Kendall. 1971). Probably the largest, extant colony in Texas thrives along Hondo Creek in Medina County west of San Antonio. There are records for this species across the southwestern portion of the Edwards Plateau. Robb (1980) collected a single worn female in his Lubbock yard on 11 June 1977. It's also been recorded in Tarrant County (Fort Worth) per the Dallas County Lepidopterists' Society.

Chlosyne lacinia (Geyer, 1837) - Bordered Patch

Has most variable wing pattern of all North American butterflies (Neck 1996). As Bauer (1975) writes, this butterfly seems to have an "almost endless polymorphism of wing color and pattern. It's also the widest ranging and most abundant species of Chlosyne (Pyle 1981), occurring from Argentina to throughout the southwestern U.S. Larvae host on sunflowers (Helianthus spp.) and other common members of the Asteraceae plant family. Raymond Neck published extensively on this species from 1973 to 1980. Warren et al. (2006) photos.

Chlosyne marina (Geyer, 1837) - Marina Patch

Erroneously reported from the U.S. based on an assumption of conspecificity with melitaeoides and eumeda by Scott (1986), however, Neck (1996), Kons (2000), Opler & Warren (2002) Brock & Kaufman (2003), and Luis et al. (2003) all consider eumeda, melitaeoides and marina to be separate species. Range restricted to western Mexico.

Chlosyne melitaeoides (C. Felder & R. Felder, 1867) - Red-spotted Patch

Three different individuals C. melitaeoides were photographed during November 9-10, 14, 2006 at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, Mission, Hidalgo Co. and three other fresh individuals were collected November 10-12, 2006 in or near Chihuahua, Hidalgo County, Texas per Jerry McWilliams (pers. comm., Nov. 2006). Here's a photo from Gomez Farias, Tamaulipas, Mexico.

Kendall & McGuire (1984) report the following about the first U.S. records of C. melitaeoides that McGuire collected over 30 years ago:

This species is new to Texas and the United States, although there may be a few misidentified earlier specimens in collections. Twenty-three examples were collected in Starr County, Texas by McGuire:

20 October 1973, Rio Grande City, 1 female; 
22 October 1974, ca. 16 km. ESE of Rio Grande City, 1 male; 
22 October 1974, ca. 1.62 km. E of Garciaville, 3 males, 8 females; 
22 October 1974, ca. 10 km. W of Sullivan city, 1 male, 1 female; 
24 October 1974, ca. 6 km. W of Sullivan City, 2 males, 6 females.

Also in Starr County, nr. El Sauz, 19 October 1976, Kendall saw a fresh specimen (female?), just out of reach, nectaring on blossoms in a thorn forest; when the specimen flew away, he was unable to follow it through the chaparral.

A pair of specimens (male, 22 October 1974 and female, 24 October 1974) were placed in the British Museum (NH) where L.G. Higgins confirmed our tentative determination. Two pair (1 male, 2 females, 22 October 1974 and 1 male, 24 October 1974) were placed in the Allyn Museum of Entomology.

Apparently nothing is known of the life history of melitaeoides, but larval foodplants may be members of the Acanthaceae such as Anisacanthus and Carlowrightia. Based on collection records, the species would seem to be at least trivoltine. It probably has a larval diapause.

Chlosyne rosita A. Hall, 1924 - Rosita Patch

During 1972 and 1973 surveys, McGuire & Rickard (1974) report this species as "well established in Santa Ana Refuge". They also cite one record outside of the wildlife refuge, 20 October 1973, a fresh female at McAllen. During those "glory years", Lombardini (1989) collected a badly worn C. rosita in Lubbock (!) on August 12, 1973.

Since then, the only U.S. record reported in the LepSoc Season Summary was by Richard W. Boscoe at Madero, Hidalgo County, TX on November 20, 1994. Boscoe confined a female which oviposited on Siphonoglossa pilosella. The larvae that hatched were reared to the larval diapause stage. On October 31, 2006, Jerry McWilliams (pers. comm., Nov. 2006) reported one fresh Rosita Patch at Rio Grande City, Starr Co., TX.

Rosita Patches are fairly common in Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon

Chlosyne theona (Ménétriés, 1855) - Theona Checkerspot

Another highly variable species, common in south to central Texas, west to Arizona

Aaron, E.M. & S.F. Aaron. 1885. List of a collection of diurnal Lepidoptera from southern Texas. Papilio 4(9-10):172-182.

Aaron, S.F. 1885. Collecting on the Gulf Coast of southern Texas. Papilio 4(9-10):159-161.

Austin, G.T. & M.J. Smith. 1998. Revision of the Thessalia theona complex (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae: Melitaeinae). Pp. 359-396 in: Emmel, T.C., (editor). Systematics of Western North American Butterflies. Mariposa Press, Gainesville, Florida, 878 pp.

Bailowitz, R.A. & J.P. Brock. 1991. Butterflies of southeastern Arizona. Sonoran Arthropod Studies, Tucson, Ariaona.

Barnes, W. & J.H. McDunnough. 1913. Species of Lepidoptera new to our fauna, with synonymical notes. Canadian Entomologist 45(6): 182-185.

Bates, H.W. 1864. Entomologist's Monthly Magazine, 1: 84.

Bauer, D.L. 1960. Descriptions of two new Chlosyne from Mexico. Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society, 14(2): 148-154. 

Bauer, D.L. 1975. Tribe Melitaeini. Pp. 139-195. In: W.H. Howe (editor). Butterflies of North America. Doubleday and Co., Garden City, NY.

Bordelon, C. & E. Knudson. 2002, 2006. Illustrated Checklist of the Lepidoptera of the LRGV Part 1 : Butterflies. Texas Lepidoptera Survey, Houston. viii + 84 pp., 20 plates.

Borror, D.J. 1960. Dictionary of Word Roots and Combining Forms. National Press Books, Palo Alto. 134 pp.

Brock, J.P. & K. Kaufman. 2003, 2006. Focus Guide to Butterflies of North America. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston. 384 pp.

Calvert, W.H., & Hanson, F. 1983. The role of sensory structures and preoviposition behavior in oviposition by the patch butterfly, Chlosyne lacinia. Entomol. Exp. Appl. 33:179-187.

Denno, R. & B. Benrey. 1997. Aggregation facilitates larval growth in the neotropical nymphalid butterfly Chlosyne janais. Ecological Entomology, 22(2): 133-141.

Doyle, J.F. 2003. The Life History, Notes and Larval Foodplant for Chlosyne definita (Aaron,1884) in South Texas. Southern Lepidopterists' News. 25(3): 95-96, insert D.

Drummond, B.A., G.L. Bush & T.C. Emmel. 1970. The biology and laboratory culture of Chlosyne lacinia Geyer (Nymphalidae). Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society, 24(2): 135-142.

Edwards, W.H. 1872. The Butterflies of North America. American Entomological Society, Philadelphia. vi + 52pp

Edwards, W.H. 1879. Description of a new species of Melitaea from Texas. Canadian Entomologist 11(6):1l7-118. [Chlosyne fulvia]

Forbes, W.T.M. 1928. A key to the forms of the genus Chlosyne (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae). Ann. Ent. Soc. Amer. 21: 98-100.

Freeman, H.A. (coordinator). 1974. Zone 4: Great Plains. Pp. 6-8 in: Leuschner, R. (editor). The 1973 field season summary. News of the Lepidopterists' Society No. 2. [synopsis of Rio Grande Valley records]

Godman, F.D. & O. Salvin.. 1879-1901. Biologia Centrali-Americana Insecta, Lepidoptera-Rhopalocera Vol. I, II, & III, Plates 1 - 113. Bernard Quaritch Limited, London. [Chlosyne eumeda, C. marina, C. endeis, C. definita - Plate 108, see also plate 19, Chlosyne lacinia, plate 20, Chlosyne erodyle and plate 21, Chlosyne cyneas]

Hall, A. 1924. Descriptions of two new forms of Chlosyne (Lep. Nymphalidae). Entomologist 57: 24-1-242, 4 figs.

Higgins, L.G. 1960. A revision of the melitaeine genus Chlosyne and allied species (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Transactions of the Royal Entomological Society of London 112(14): 381-475.

Higgins, L.G. 1981: A revision of Phyciodes Hübner and related genera, with a review of the classification of the Melitaeinae (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Bull. Brit. Mus. Nat. Hist. 43(3): 77-243.

Holland, W.J. 1898. (revised 1931 edition) The butterfly book; a popular and scientific manual, describing and depicting all the butterflies of the United States and Canada. Doubleday & Co., Inc. Garden City, NY. 

Kendall, R.O., & C.A. Kendall. 1971. Lepidoptera in the unpublished field notes of Howard George Lacey, Naturalist (1856-1929). Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society 25(1): 29-44.

Kendall, R.O. & W.W. McGuire. 1984. Some new and rare records of Lepidoptera found in Texas. Bulletin of the Allyn Museum 86:1-50.

Kons, H.L. 2000. Phylogenetic studies of the Melitaeini (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae) and a revision of the genus Chlosyne Butler. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Florida, Gainesville. x + 798 pp. Available from UMI.

Lombardini, J.B. 1989. The butterflies of Lubbock County, Texas. Southern Lepidopterists' News 11(3):23-28.

Luis, A., J. Llorente, I. Vargas & A.D. Warren. 2003. Biodiversity and Biogeography of Mexican butterflies (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea and Hesperioidea). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 105(1): 209-224.

McGuire, W.W. & M.A. Rickard. 1974. An annotated checklist of the butterflies of Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State park and vicinity. Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. mimeograph pp 1-22.

Miller, L.D. & F.M. Brown. 1981. A catalogue/checklist of the butterflies of America north of Mexico. Memoirs of the Lepidopterists’ Society 2:vii, 1-280.

Neck, R.W. 1973a. Foodplant ecology of the butterfly Chlosyne lacinia (Geyer) (Nymphalidae). I. Larval foodplants. Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society 27:22-33. 

Neck, R.W. 1973b. Homologous polymorphism and niche equivalence in the butterfly genus Chlosyne. Heredity 31:118-123.

Neck, R.W. 1974. Ecological genetics of a larval color polymorphism in the genus Chlosyne. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas, Austin.

Neck, R.W. 1975a. Aberrant Chlosyne lacinia (Nymphalidae) from central Texas. Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society 29:259. 

Neck, R.W. 1975b. History of scientific study on a larval color polymorphism in the genus Chlosyne (Nymphalidae). Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 14 (1):41-48. 

Neck, R.W. 1976. Larval morph variation in Chlosyne lacinia (Nymphalidae). Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society 30:91-94. 

Neck, R.W. 1977a. Foodplant ecology of the butterfly Chlosyne lacinia (Geyer) Nymphalidae; II. Additional larval food plant data. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 16(2):69-74. 

Neck, R.W. 1977b. Foodplant ecology of the butterfly Chlosyne lacinia (Geyer) (Nymphalidae) III. Adult resources. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 16 (3):147-154. 

Neck, R.W. 1980. Aberrant specimen of Chlosyne lacinia from central Texas resembles tropical form. Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society 34(4):363-364. 

Neck, R.W. 1996. A Field Guide to Butterflies of Texas. Gulf Publishing Co., Houston.

Neck, R.W., G.L. Bush & Drummond III, B.A. 1971. Epistasis, associated lethals and brood effect in larval colour polymorphism of the patch butterfly, Chlosyne lacinia. Heredity 26:73-84.

Opler P.A. & A.D. Warren. 2002, 2005. Scientific Names List for Butterfly Species of North America, North of Mexico. Gillette Publications, Fort Collins. 83 pp.

Pyle, R.M. 1981. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. 924 pp.

Robb, J. 1980. New and interesting Lepidoptera records from western Texas. Journal of the Lepidopterists Society 34:59-60. 

Scott, J.A. 1986. The Butterflies of North America: A Natural History and Field Guide. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California. 583 pp., 64 pls.

Stewart, B., P. Brodkin & H. Brodkin. 2001. Butterflies of Arizona, A Photographic Guide. West Coast Lady Press, Arcata, California. ii + 415 pp. 

Vázquez, L. 1934. Contribución al conocimiento de los lepidópteros mexicanos. I. Morpheis ehrenbergii Hbn. Anales del Instituto de Biología de México 5(3):259-267, 12 figs.

Warren, A. D., J. E. Llorente-Bousquets, A. Luis-Martínez & I. Vargas-Fernández. 2006. Interactive Listing of Mexican Butterflies. Listado Interaccional de las Mariposas Mexicanas. [9-I-2006] <>

18 Oct 2009  © Mike Quinn / / Texas Entomology