Saturday, April 30, 2011

Fresh Sheet - April 30, 2011

This week’s shipment includes the rarely seen Small Striped Swordtail, Graphium policenes. Visit us and see if you can tell the difference from the Large Striped Swordtail, Graphium antheus.

El Salvador

30 - Archeoprepona demophon (One-spotted Prepona)
20 - Battus belus (Belus Swallowtail)
20 - Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
20 - Catonephele numilia (Numilia)
20 - Consul fabius (Tiger Leafwing)
20 - Doxocopa laure (Silver Emperor)
20 - Dryadula phaetusa (Banded Orange Heliconian)
20 - Heliconius hecale (Tiger Longwing)
10 - Heliconius ismenius (Ismenius Longwing)
12 - Lycorea cleobaea (Large Tiger)
45 - Morpho peleides (Blue Morpho)
45 - Morpho polyphemus (White Morpho)
10 - Myselia cyaniris (Blue Wave Butterfly)
20 - Myscelia ethusa (Royal Blue Butterfly)
20 - Papilio androgeus (Androgeus Swallowtail)
30 - Prepona omphale=archeoprepona omphale (Blue Belly-Button)

Total = 362


04 - Catopsilia scylla (Orange Emigrant)
20 - Cethosia cyane (Leopard Lacewing)
03 - Charaxes brutus (White-barred Charaxes)
10 - Charaxes cithaeron (Blue-spotted Charexes)
10 - Charaxes protoclea (Flame-bordered Charexes)
10 - Chilasa clytia (Common Mime)
10 - Euploea core (Common Crow)
10 - Graphium agamemnon (Tailed Jay)
10- Graphium antheus (Large Striped Swordtail)
08 - Graphium policenes (Small Striped Swordtail)
29 - Hypolimnas bolina (Great Eggfly)
11 - Idea leuconoe (Paper Kite)
02 - Ideopsis juventa (Wood Nymph)
10 - Ideopsis vulgaris (Blue Glassy Tiger)
10 - Pachliopta kotzeboea (Pink Rose)
10 - Papilio demodocus (Orchard Swallowtail)
10 - Papilio helenus (Red Helen)
10 - Papilio lowii (Sunset Swallowtail)
10 - Papilio memnon (Great Mormon)
06 - Papilio polytes (Polite Swallowtail)
20 - Papilio rumanzovia (Crimson Swallowtail)
10 - Parthenos sylvia philippensis (The Clipper)
10 - Parthenos sylvia violaceae (Violet Clipper)
07 - Tirumala septentrionus(Dark Blue Tiger)

Total = 250

Grand Total = 612

“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!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tide Pool Collecting Trip

Pacific Science Center’s Alternative Service policy requires full time staff members to work 40 hours per year in a department other than their own. This policy creates a sense of camaraderie, helps staff members understand each other’s work better, and helps our programs accomplish occasional tasks where a few extra hands are needed. Thus a day at the beach brought in Brigid and Portia, who normally work with our youth volunteers in the Discovery Corps, and Chris and Meredith from our camps’ program. Youth and Family Programs manager Meredith Braud spends much of her time making sure our Camp-ins and vacation and summer camps are dynamic, fun, and trouble-free. But on Wednesday April 20, she got to have a totally different experience. Here is her story.

I was lucky enough to be included in a tide pool collecting excursion for PSC’s Salt Water Tide Pool recently. Having grown up in Louisiana, the tide pools of the Pacific Northwest are still a marvel to me. Most of the coastal waters of the Mississippi delta are muddy and brown, and exotic creatures may dwell there but are masked so well…

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I came prepared in my best rubber boots. Not wanting anyone to know what a tide pool novice I was, I didn’t readily admit that I had absolutely no clue what we were looking for. I just followed Brianna Todd, Lead Animal Caretaker, and watched as she culled through the rocks exposed by low tide on the beach in Indianola. She found a caramel colored anemone about an inch wide and put it in my bucket. And then I saw another coworker, Brigid, find a beautiful red and green Christmas anemone about the size of a tennis ball, and I was hooked!

How abundant those rocks were in life forms that I hardly would have noticed before this trip! We found hermit crabs and sea snails, anemones of several species, mussels, a little shrimp (he is very cute!), and several other animals that I could neither pronounce or find (they were camouflaged well on those wet rocks). I was most enamored of the anemones with their gooey outsides and tentacled insides that sometimes popped outside.

We also saw lots of creatures that were quite notable, though they were not invited to take up residence at PSC’s Tide Pool. There were some sun stars fish (what brilliant colors!), and some regular sea stars, some of which were as big as my golden retriever puppy. I never knew a sea star could get that big! And the most amazing creature that coworker Chris discovered was a red octopus. His body was about 6-8 inches long when it was spread out and slimy, but he was able to bunch all of his slimy self together and sort of fling his body forward to move toward the water. That little octopus was really fun to watch.

All in all ,the trip was a success! We found some creatures that have a nice new home here with us where they are safe from the ravenous sea stars of the world. Of course, I would have thought it a success anyway. I certainly learned a lot, and I hope to go “collecting” again sometime!

We hope that Meredith’s experience inspires you to visit our Puget Sound Salt Water Tide Pool and meet the animals she brought back. You can also visit the animals that didn’t get collected by visiting a beach at low tide. Please visit respectfully. Touching sea anemones, stars, shells and other tide pool creatures will not harm them, but moving them or the rocks they live on and around can be very harmful to them. Sea mammals, such as seals, and animals that normally swim freely, such as octopus and jellyfish should not be touched. Jellyfish and octopus may contain toxins that absorb through the skin, and all wild mammals are protected by law and must strictly be left alone.

Read more!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Spring Spheres

What are those silly silk worms up to now?


Read more!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Fresh Sheet April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day everyone!

Costa Rica

48 - Archeoprepona demophon (One-spotted Prepona)
13 - Battus polydamas (Polydamus Swallowtail)
12 - Caligo eurilochus (Forest Giant Owl)
25 - Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
26 - Catonephele numilia (Numilia)
05 - Chlosyne janais (Crimson Patch)
31 - Danaus plexippus (The Monarch)
23 - Dryas iulia (Julia Longwing)
35 - Greta oto (Glasswing)
17 - Hamadryas amphinome (Red Calico)
08 - Heliconius charitonius (Zebra Longwing)
37 - Heliconius cydno (Cydno Longwing)
23 - Heliconius doris (Doris Longwing)
45 - Heliconius hecale (Tiger Longwing)
37 - Heliconius ismenius (Ismenius Longwing)
13 - Heliconius melpomene (Postman)
25 - Heraclides anchisiades (Ruby-spotted Swallowtail)
07 - Hypna clytemnestra (Silver-studded Leafwing)
41 - Morpho peleides (Blue Morpho)
29 - Papilio polyxenes (Black Swallowtail)
04 - Parides iphidamas(Iphidamas or Transandean Cattleheart)
13 - Philaethria dido (Scarce Bamboo Page)

Total = 517

“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, April 20, 2011

Corpse Plant Bloom Watch

Corpse plant #2 (can anyone think of a better name?) has not bloomed yet it's getting bigger every day. Recently, a local television station came by to take a sniff. How about you?

Watch the video here: Read more!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Sea Star Spawn and so on

Sea stars, and many other marine animals, reproduce in ways that look very different from anything air dwellers do. Recent visitors to our Puget Sound Salt Water Tide Pool may have noticed some interesting, springtime behavior.

If you notice a sea star emitting a cloudy substance, the star is spawning - releasing its gametes into the water. Sea stars can be either male or female, and both release their spawn (is there a better word for this?) in the same way. Because they tend to live near other members of their species, there is a very good chance that some of these cells will find each other and fertilization can take place. In our tide pool, with its necessary filtration system, any fertilized sea star eggs won't be able to survive.

Like sea stars, many anemone species spawn by releasing free swimming (gametes) into the water. But many anemones also reproduce asexually, creating genetically identical clones of themselves. They can either split into two anemones of roughly equal size, or the parent anemone can bud smaller offspring. Sometimes when a large anemone relocates, it will leave small groups of cells that regenerate into tiny new anemones.

When you visit our tide pool or take a walk on a beach, lives are being lived around you. Look closely to appreciate the many way animals have evolved to meet the challenges of survival and reproduction.

Read more!

Fresh Sheet – April 17, 2011

The Tropical Butterfly House is awaiting the emergence of a SECOND CORPSE PLANT and 618 new pupae from Suriname and El Salvador!

El Salvador

12 - Archeoprepona demophon (One-spotted Prepona)
30 - Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
20 - Catonephele numilia (Numilia)
20 - Consul fabius (Tiger Leafwing)
20 - Dryadula phaetusa (Banded Orange Heliconian)
10 - Heliconius charitonius (Zebra Longwing)
15 - Heliconius hecale (Tiger Longwing)
10 - Lycorea cleobaea (Large Tiger)
80 - Morpho peleides (Blue Morpho)
25 - Morpho polyphemus (White Morpho)
20 - Myscelia ethusa (Royal Blue Butterfly)
30 - Papilio androgeus (Androgeus Swallowtail)
36 - Prepona omphale=archeoprepona omphale (Blue Belly-Button)
10 - Tithorea harmonia (Harmonia Tigerwing)

Total = 348


5 – Parides sesostris (Emerald-patched Cattleheart)
5 - Battus polydamas (Polydamus Swallowtail)
10 - Heraclides thoas (Giant Swallowtail)
40 - Heraclides anchisiades (Ruby-spotted Swallowtail)
10 - - Heliconius hecale (Tiger Longwing)
33 - Heliconius melpomene (Postman)
20 - Dryas iulia (Julia Longwing)
25 - Catonephele orites (Orange-banded shoemaker)
20 - Anartia amathea (Scarlet Peacock)
05 - Archeoprepona demophon (One-spotted Prepona)
15 - Biblis hyperia (Red Rim)
40 - Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
32 - Mechanitis polymnia (Polymnia Tigerwing)
10 - Tithorea harmonia (Harmonia Tigerwing)

Total = 270

Grand Total = 618

Read more!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Fresh Sheet – April 8, 2011

This week in addition to the list of butterflies from the Philippines, we include a link to The Philippine Star where you can read tomorrow’s news today!


05 - Papilio palinurus (Banded Peacock)
100 - Papilio rumanzovia (Crimson Swallowtail)
100 - Papilio lowii (Sunset Swallowtail)
100 - Idea leuconoe (Paper Kite)
30 - Graphium agamemnon (Tailed Jay)
16 - Doleschalia bisaltide (Autumn Leaf)
13 - Parthenos sylvia philippensis (The Clipper)
30 - Papilio polytes (Polite Swallowtail)
100 - Hypolimnas bolina (Great Eggfly)

Total = 494

“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!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What’s That Smell?

Staff members visiting the Tropical Butterfly House this morning were greeted with an odd, unpleasant odor. Fortunately, the aroma was not the result of a something rotting in the ventilation system but in fact, a very special blooming plant: Amorphophallus bulbifer, a corpse plant!

The smell is intended to attract insects which are important pollinators of this plant. Also known as the Voodoo Lily, our plant ("Pinky") has a large pink flower about the size of a football. There are over 150 different species in the genus Amorphophallus, all found in tropical and subtropical zones.

Come see “Pinky” soon! It doesn’t bloom every year and will only last about a week. So take a whiff and enjoy it while you can!

You can find “Pinky” in the southwest corner of the center island of the garden, across from the emergency exit. Or just follow your nose!

Read more!

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Flopsy Memo

Last week the following memo was given to the Animal Care staff:

Axolotl “Flopsy” went in to the vet because of swelling on the left side of her face and nasal discharge. Dr. Maas [our vet from The Center for Bird and Exotic Animal Medicine] expressed a surprising quantity of whitish discharge from her left nostril. Her face was noticeably more normal looking when he was done. The discharge was full of bacteria and dead cells, but had no signs of fungal infection. Dr. Maas said she appears to have a sinus infection.

She is to be given a daily antibiotic injection. The antibiotic is stored in the freezer. Before injecting, thaw it to room temperature, and remove all the air from the syringe. They put in a lot of air to protect the syringe from damage when the liquid expands during freezing.

Place Flopsy in a small plastic container and restrain her while you inject into the flesh part of her shoulder. Use the left shoulder on even days and the right on odd days. Wearing gloves helps make her slightly less slippery. The shot does hurt when it happens and she will thrash. But remind yourself that axolotls have incredible healing powers and that an infection hurts worse. And falling would hurt much worse, so don’t be afraid to use sufficient restraint.

If her face looks swollen again, either let me know or you can gently press the sinus area below her eye, toward the nostril, to clear out more of the discharge.

Sarah Moore
March 30, 2011

Never a dull moment in Animal Care!

Read more!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Fresh Sheet – April 1, 2011

It’s spring so it must be Morpho polyphemus time! See if you can spot these elusive white handkerchiefs among our other colorful butterflies!

El Salvador

40 - Battus belus (Belus Swallowtail)
30 - Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
10 - Heliconius charitonius (Zebra Longwing)
40 - Heliconius hecale (Tiger Longwing)
30 - Lycorea cleobaea (Large Tiger)
80 - Morpho peleides (Blue Morpho)
40 - Morpho polyphemus (White Morpho)
20 - Myscelia ethusa (Royal Blue Butterfly)
12 - Papilio androgeus (Androgeus Swallowtail)
30 - Parides montezuma (Montezuma Cattleheart)
30 - Prepona omphale=archeoprepona omphale (Blue Belly-Button)

Total = 362


10 - Argema mimosa (African Moon Moth)
20 - Athyma perius (Common Sergeant)
04 - Catopsilia pyranthe (Mottled Emigrant)
30 - Cethosia cyane (Leopard Lacewing)
10 - Charaxes cithaeron (Blue-spotted Charaxes)
10 - Charaxes protoclea (Flame-bordered Charexes)
10 - Chilasa clytia (Common Mime)
10 - Euploea core (Common Crow)
10 - Graphium agamemnon (Tailed Jay)
10 - Hypolimnas bolina (Great Eggfly)
08 - Idea leuconoe (Paper Kite)
10 - Junonia almana (Peacock Pansy)
10 - Junonia lemonias (Lemon Pansy)
10 - Papilio helenus (Red Helen)
20 - Papilio lowii (Sunset Swallowtail)
10 - Papilio memnon (Great Memnon)
30 - Papilio polytes (Polite Swallowtail)
30 - Papilio rumanzovia (Crimson Swallowtail)
10 - Parthenos sylvia philippensis (The Clipper)
11 - Tirumala limniace (Blue Tiger)

Total = 273

Grand total = 635

Read more!