The Banded Peacock Butterfly from Costa Rica
Sometimes referred to commonly as Fatima or Cook, the Banded Peacock Butterfly is a regular site on both the Pacific and Caribbean shores of Costa Rica.
Banded Peacocks are found from Southern parts of the United States (particularly South Texas) to Panama. They are often found near rivers in mid to high level elevation forests. In Costa Rica, they are found in Poás Volcano National Park, Braulio Carrillo National Park, Turrialba Volcano National Park and Juan Castro Blanco National Park.
Mating & Reproduction
Males demonstrate territoriality, and some may vie for females in a lek (a group display of males to win the affection of a partner). Males will patrol for females in their given area, and chase off others. The females like to lay their eggs on acanthus flowers while there is direct sunlight. They la from y their eggs on the sepals (below petals) and bracts (modified leafs near petals) of their preferred hosts of acanthus and petunias.
Males are up early in the morning searching for females and the nectar of flowering plants. Females will wait until there is more sunlight before venturing out. There is a large number of Banded Peacock Butterflies, and they are not poisonous. They are often the subject of predation, and their predators include birds, lizards, frogs, spiders and other insects.
Banded Peacock Butterflies have a relatively short lifespan at a few weeks if they aren’t eaten. They make flights north at all times of the year, and have been observed as far north as Kansas. There are years, however, when colonies do not make the journey north.
Locations in Costa Rica: Poás Volcano National Park, Braulio Carrillo National Park, Turrialba Volcano National Park, Juan Castro Blanco National Park.
Diet: Acanthus and other flower nectars
Migration Pattern: Northern Migration into South Texas
Habitat: mid & high elevation subtropical forests
Size: length=5.3-6 cm weight=negligible
Species: Anartia fatima