Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Tale of the Undead Beetles

In the life of Animal Care, we have to deal with the fact that our animals occasionally die. While this is difficult to accept emotionally, it’s usually easy to determine whether an animal is dead or alive. But not always. In the spirit of Halloween, we bring you the "Tale of the Undead Beetles!"


We feed our herbivorous arthropods every other day: checking on their water, removing old food, and looking over the health of the animals in their cages. Some herbivores are more active than others. While we can usually rely on the Darkling beetles and Velvet ants to be moving around their cage, sometimes the cockroaches and Blue death-feigning beetles are remarkably still. This was the case one morning recently, when Animal Caretakers Katie and Lauren were making their rounds. Almost all of the Blue death-feigning beetles (Cryptoglossa verrucosus) were completely motionless. We gave them a nudge to see if they were alive. The beetles fell over, apparently dead.

You can probably guess by the name of these insects that appearances can be deceiving. Unsure of a prognosis, Katie and Lauren collected five visibly dead beetles and placed them off exhibit for observation. The Animal Caretakers weren’t very hopeful. These beetles looked VERY dead.

Two minutes later, one of the beetles was up and walking around the box! Hooray! But the rest were surely dead. Ten minutes later, another one stirred! Hooray, hooray! After about an hour, the most cautious of the beetles finally realized that the danger had passed. It was safe to return to the world of the living. Eventually all of them proved to be very much alive.

Of course, faking death is a defense mechanism for Blue death-feigning beetles. However, when it comes to tricking the people who take care of you, that strategy may not always work in your favor.


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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Fresh Sheet – October 18, 2014

This week’s shipment of pupae from Malaysia includes 60 Idea leuconoe (Paper Kite), subject of Life Science’s longevity study. Nine other tropical Asian species are hanging in the emerging window as well. Stop by our Tropical Butterfly House and take a look!


Penang Butterfly Farm
Malaysia

60 - Cethosia cyane (Leopard Lacewing)
04 - Chilasa clytia (Common Mime)
05 - Doleschalia bisaltide (Autumn Leaf)
24 - Hypolimnas bolina (Blue moon)
60 - Idea leuconoe (Paper Kite)
05 - Papilio memnon (Great Memnon)
39 - Papilio nephelus (Yellow Helen)
60 - Parthenos sylvia (The Clipper)
13 - Tirumala septentrionis (Dark Blue Tiger)
60 - Vindula dejone (The Cruiser)

Total = 330

“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, October 11, 2014

Fresh Sheet – October 11, 2014

Still can’t Believe It? They’re everywhere and yet hard to see! This week we’ve received another 260 Greta oto (Glasswing) pupae from Costa Rica as well as 19 other species from El Salvador. Check them out!


Suministros Entomológicos Costerricenses, S.A.
Costa Rica

260 - Greta oto (Glasswing)

Bioproductores de El Salvador
El Salvador

20 - Battus belus (Belus Swallowtail)
20 - Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
20 - Catonephele numilia (Halloween Butterfly)
20 - Eurytides branchus (Dual-spotted Swallowtail)
25 - Eurytides thymbraeus (White-crested Swallowtail)
10 - Heliconius erato (Small Postman)
15 - Heliconius hecale (Tiger Longwing)
30 - Heliconius hortense (Mountain Longwing)
25 - Heliconius ismenius (Ismenius Longwing)
25 - Lycorea cleobaea (Large Tiger)
25 - Morpho polyphemus (White Morpho)
30 - Myscelia ethusa (Royal Blue Butterfly)
30 - em>Papilio erostratus (Dusky Swallowtail)
17 - Papilio pilumnus (Three-tailed Swallowtail)
30 - Parides arcas (Arcas Cattleheart)
05 - Archeoprepona demophon (One-spotted Prepona)
10 - Prepona omphale (Blue Belly-Button)
10 - Siderone nemesis (Red-striped Leafwing)
10 - Tithorea harmonia (Harmonia Tigerwing)

Total = 377

Grand Total = 637

“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, October 4, 2014

Fresh Sheet – October 4, 2014

Believe It or Not!®, this week we’ve gotten a gigantic gaggle of great glittering Glasswings, gorgeous Greta otos! You’ve got to see their see-through wings – if you can.



Suministros Entomológicos Costerricenses, S.A.
Costa Rica

15 - Caligo eurilochus (Forest Giant Owl)
20 - Catonephele numilia (Halloween Butterfly)
14 - Eueudes isabella (Isabella’s Longwing)
300 - Greta oto (Glasswing)
10 - Hamadryas februa (Gray Calico)
10 - Hamadryas laodamia (Starry Calico)
14 - Heliconius cydno (Cydno Longwing)
10 - Heliconius doris (Doris Longwing)
15 - Heliconius erato (Small Postman)
25 - Heliconius hecale (Tiger Longwing)
10 - Heliconius hewitsoni (Hewitson’s Longwing)
25 - Heliconius melpomene (Postman)
10 - Heliconius sapho (Sapho Longwing)
07 - Heraclides anchisiades (Ruby-spotted Swallowtail)
50 - Morpho peleides (Blue Morpho)
30 - Myselia cyaniris (Blue Wave Butterfly)
15 - Nessaea aglaura (Aglaura Olivewing)
25 - Papilio thoas (Thoas Swallowtail)
10 - Parides iphidamas (Transandean Cattleheart)
10 - Siproeta epaphus (Rusty-tipped Page)

Total = 625

“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!