The energy landscapes of electrostatically charged particles embedded on constant mean curvature surfaces are analyzed for a wide range of system size, curvature, and interaction potentials. The surfaces are taken to be rigid, and the basin-hopping method is used to locate the putative global minimum structures. The defect motifs favored by potential energy agree with experimental observations for colloidal systems: extended defects (scars and pleats) for weakly positive and negative Gaussian curvatures, and isolated defects for strongly negative Gaussian curvatures. Near the phase boundary between these regimes, the two motifs are in strong competition, as evidenced from the appearance of distinct funnels in the potential energy landscape. We also report a novel defect motif consisting of pentagon pairs.