Saturday, January 31, 2015

Fresh Sheet – January 31, 2015

This week’s featured butterfly from El Salvador is Papilio erostratus (Dusky Swallowtail), a dimorphic species. Is the above photograph of a male or female? Hint: The female seems to mimic Parides photinus.


Bioproductores de El Salvador

09 - Archeoprepona demophoon (Hubner’s Prepona)
25 - Battus belus (Belus Swallowtail)
25 - Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
25 - Catonephele numilia (Numilia)
20 - Heliconius hecale (Tiger Longwing)
25 - Heliconius hortense (Mountain Longwing)
25 - Heliconius ismenius (Ismenius Longwing)
10 - Lycorea cleobaea (Large Tiger)
30 - Morpho polyphemus (White Morpho)
25 - Myscelia ethusa (Royal Blue Butterfly)
15 - Papilio androgeus (Queen Page)
25 - Papilio erostratus (Dusky Swallowtail)
25 - Parides photinus (Queen of Hearts)
25 - Prepona omphale (Blue Belly-Button)

Total = 309

“Fresh Sheet” is our weekly shipment report of pupae on display in the emerging window. Visit Pacific Science Center’s Tropical Butterfly House and meet our newest residents.


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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Fresh Sheet - January 24, 2015

A good number of Blue Morphos (Morpho peleides) has arrived this week. These butterflies, along with their cousins Morpho polyphemus (White Morpho), are the next subjects of our longevity study. On your next visit to our Tropical Butterfly House, see if you can spot the spots!


Suministros Entimológicos Costarricenses, SA
Costa Rica

10 - Archeoprepona demophon (One-spotted Prepona)
28 - Caligo eurilochus (Forest Giant Owl)
46 - Catonephele numilia (Numilia)
36 - Greta oto (Glasswing)
66 - Hamadryas laodamia (Starry Calico)
50 - Heliconius cydno (Cydno Longwing)
06 - Heliconius erato (Small Postman)
19 - Heliconius hecale (Tiger Longwing)
20 - Heliconius hewitsoni (Hewitson’s Longwing)
14 - Heliconius melpomene (Postman)
06 - Heliconius sapho (Sapho Longwing)
31 - Morpho peleides (Blue Morpho)
14 - Myscelia cyaniris (Blue Wave Butterfly)
40 - Papilio thoas (Thoas Swallowtail)
05 - Prepona omphale (Blue Belly-Button)

Total = 391

“Fresh Sheet” is our weekly shipment report of pupae on display in the emerging window. Visit Pacific Science Center’s Tropical Butterfly House and meet our newest residents.


Read more!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Featured Plant: Pandanus amaryllifolius

Life Sciences Horticulturist Jenn Purnell and her volunteers have been busy transforming our Tropical Butterfly House into a beautiful educational oasis. This month we are featuring the Pandan plant (Pandanus amarylliflous).


Species Name: Pandanus amaryllifolius

Common Names: pandan (Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Java, Philippines), pondak (Moluccas), rampe (India), plus many other common names in different languages throughout Southeast Asia

Family Name: Pandanaceae, Scewpine Family

Ecology / Ethno / Natural History Notes: Pandan has been cultivated throughout Southeast Asia and the Pacific for a long time - possibly thousands of years. Its leaves produce the same aroma compound found in basmati rice, jasmine rice, and white bread (2-Acetyl-1-pyrroline). The leaves are added to rice dishes, made into drinks, used to flavor desserts, and made into fragrant food wrappers. (Check out this pandan & coconut rice recipe - http://www.hungryhuy.com/pandan-sticky-rice-recipe/ ). Pandan is also used medicinally, in ceremonies, and as a cockroach deterrent! Though pandan can sometimes be found growing wild in tropical places, not much is written in English about its natural origins. There are no known observations of female pandan flowers or fruits; male pandan flowers have only been observed in the Moluccas archipelago in Indonesia. Because of this, it is propagated through suckers or cuttings. As you might imagine, studies indicate that this species has very low genetic diversity. Though the pandan isn't a known host plant for any of our Lepidoptera, it is reported to be host plant for a Malaysian butterfly, the hoary palmer (Unkana ambasa batara).

How to Identify it: We recently added a pandan plant to our Tropical Butterfly House, in the center bed across from the Emerging Window. Usually the best way to identify a plant is by its reproductive structures, but pandan (almost) never flowers. The easiest way to find it in the Butterfly House is to look for a 1-2 foot tall plant that looks like a nondescript, tropical monocot (sort of like a wide-leafed grass). Then lean in and take a big whiff - does it smell like basmati rice? Or bread? Or possibly caramel corn? If so, you've found the pandan! Some other standard Pandanaceae traits to look for - it has aeriel prop roots, and the leaves look like they are arranged spirally because the stem is twisted (thus the family name "Screwpine"). More mature plants may have prickles on the edges of the leaves - we haven't noticed any yet.

How to Care For it: Full sun to part shade, high humidity, moist soil high in organic material, slightly acidic soil. I'm sure we'll learn more the longer we have it in the house!

Sources & Further Reading:

https://blogs.reading.ac.uk/tropical-biodiversity/2013/01/pandanus-amaryllifolius/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandanus_amaryllifolius
http://gernot-katzers-spice-pages.com/engl/Pand_ama.html
http://butterflycircle.blogspot.com/2012/02/life-history-of-hoary-palmer.html


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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Fresh Sheet – January 17, 2015

The big news in our Tropical Butterfly House this week was the emergence of an Argema mimosa (African Moon moth) that had been in diapause since July of last year. Perhaps the remaining two cocoons will emerge soon as well. Unfortunately, these beautiful Saturnids have short lives so come by and see them soon!


Bioproductores de El Salvador

20 - Battus belus (Belus Swallowtail)
25 - Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
10 - Catonephele numilia (Numilia)
14 - Consul fabius (Tiger Leafwing)
25 - Heliconius hortense (Mountain Longwing)
10 - Lycorea cleobaea (Large Tiger)
10 - Morpho polyphemus (White Morpho)
25 - Myscelia ethusa (Royal Blue Butterfly)
12 - Papilio androgeus (Queen Page)
20 - Papilio erostratus (Dusky Swallowtail)
10 - Parides photinus (Queen of Hearts)
30 - Prepona omphale (Blue Belly-Button)

Total = 211

Neotropical Insects NV
Suriname

10 - Battus polydamas (Polydamus Swallowtail)
05 - Heraclides anchisiades (Ruby-spotted Swallowtail)
15 - Heliconius melpomene (Postman)
05 - Heliconius hecale (Tiger Longwing)
40 - Dryas iulia (Julia Longwing)
61 - Anartia amathea (Scarlet Peacock)
61 - Biblis hyperia (Red Rim)
60 - Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
60 - Eryphanis polyxena (Purple Mort Bleu Owl)
03 - Mechanitis polymnia (Polymnia Tigerwing)
20 - Tithorea harmonia (Harmonia Tigerwing)

Total = 340

Grand Total = 551

“Fresh Sheet” is our weekly shipment report of pupae on display in the emerging window. Visit Pacific Science Center’s Tropical Butterfly House and meet our newest residents.


Read more!