Correcting a Butterfly ID

Two years ago, in May 2022, I did a first time trip to a new lodge for me that a friend recommended, Chachagua Rainforest Hotel (link to my trip gallery) and I got a lot of bird photos and quite a few butterflies, two of which are still unidentified. BUT, one of those I identified then was misidentified, and for that I apologize! I first called it a Western Pygmy (blog post link). In retrospect, there is no excuse, but what caused it was that because it was a tiny little fingernail-sized butterfly, I assumed (a dangerous word!) that it was one of the many in the family Lycaenidae or Gossamer-Wings butterflies because all of them are very tiny like this one. Bad assumption as I have now learned that there are tiny ones in all of the families and this one is actually in the Riodinidae or Metalmarks family! It is a Simple Sarota (my species gallery link) or the scientific name Sarota acantus (butterfliesandmoths link where only two of us have submitted photos). 🙂 So I re-submit with the correct name!

Simple Sarota, Chachagua Rainforest Hotel, San Ramon Canton, Alajuela, Costa Rica
Simple Sarota, Chachagua Rainforest Hotel, San Ramon Canton, Alajuela, Costa Rica
Simple Sarota, Chachagua Rainforest Hotel, San Ramon Canton, Alajuela, Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

And see all of my Costa Rica butterfly photos arranged by families and then species in my gallery: BUTTERFLIES & Moths of Costa Rica (270+ species)

Western Pygmy-Blue, Brephidium exilis


I made a big mistake when I first identified this back in 2022. The real identity is Simple Sarota, Sarota acantus. Sorry for any inconvenience! I first made the correction with a blog post April 14, 2024: Correcting a Butterfly ID. Then later decided I should make it here also.

I’m still going through photos from my visit to Chachagua Rainforest Hotel in San Ramon Canton of Alajuela Province and just discovered a new favorite that has taken a lot of work with the photos to get them visible. They are of a teeny tiny butterfly the size of a fingernail or at most my thumbnail! And with an internet search I discovered that it is a Western Pygmy-Blue, Brephidium exilis (Wikipedia article link). In my photos he/she is on the leaf of a flower and then on the stem of a flower. It is about the size of a fingernail or thumbnail, the smallest I’ve ever photographed and websites say it is one of the smallest in the world and the smallest in the Americas, found from the western U.S. south through Venezuela. They come in many color combinations and I think mine is prettier than any I saw online! 🙂 It wasn’t included in my earlier Rainforest Butterflies post because I had not processed these photos yet, made on my last day there in one of their gardens.

Western Pygmy-Blue Butterfly, Chachagua Rainforest Hotel, San Ramon, Alajuela, Costa Rica
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